de·​note | \ di-ˈnōt How to pronounce denote (audio) , dē- \
denoted; denoting; denotes

Definition of denote

transitive verb

1 : to serve as an indication of : betoken the swollen bellies that denote starvation
2 : to serve as an arbitrary mark for red flares denoting danger
3 : to make known : announce his crestfallen look denoted his distress
4a : to serve as a linguistic expression of the notion of : mean in the southern U.S., the word "toboggan" denotes a stocking cap
b : to stand for : designate the symbol / denotes "or," "and or," or "per" An epiphany is, literally, a showing. In Christian terminology it denotes the showing of the infant Jesus to the three Magi.— David Lodge

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Other Words from denote

denotement \ di-​ˈnōt-​mənt How to pronounce denotement (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Examples of denote in a Sentence

The word “derby” can denote a horse race or a kind of hat. Her death denoted the end of an era.
Recent Examples on the Web As EW’s Leah Greenblatt notes, the term domestic thriller denotes an entire subgenre, perhaps the breakout literary category of the decade. David Canfield,, "Best of the Decade: How Gillian Flynn broke barriers with Gone Girl," 26 Nov. 2019 White lines denote a basketball court, and a sedan is parked on top of the blue painted area in front of the hoop. Los Angeles Times, "Lakers star Anthony Davis took root from humble beginnings in Chicago," 21 Oct. 2019 Even the color can denote status: Some workplaces require one color for employees, another for contractors and yet another for apprentices. Murray Carpenter, New York Times, "The Evolution of the Hard Hat," 1 Oct. 2019 The transition from a council to an authority denotes that the new body will have statutory powers and a clear mandate from parliament to uphold and constantly review corporate reporting standards. Washington Post, "Wanted: Rottweiler to Lead New U.K. Audit Watchdog," 20 Sep. 2019 Let’s project what the Week 1 roster will look like (*denotes practice squad eligible): OFFENSE (24 players) ■ Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham. Ben Volin,, "Here’s one 53-man roster projection for the Patriots," 19 Aug. 2019 No one term could denote all that these journeys entail—smugglers, bribes, boats across the Mediterranean, barefoot walks through the Darién Gap. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "How “The Memory Police” Makes You See," 6 Nov. 2019 Every item in her & Other Stories collection will come with a legend on the clothing tag, where Lupi has denoted the meaning of each line, shape, or color. Vogue, "Information Designer Giorgia Lupi Debuts a Collaboration With & Other Stories That Celebrates Women in Science," 6 Nov. 2019 Some may contend the word, in this context, simply denotes a search for the candidate best equipped to take down Donald Trump. Leonard Pitts Jr - Miami Herald, The Mercury News, "Pitts: Democrats arguments over electability are annoying," 18 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denote.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of denote

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denote

Middle French denoter, from Latin denotare, from de- + notare to note

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Time Traveler for denote

Time Traveler

The first known use of denote was in 1562

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Statistics for denote

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for denote


How to pronounce denote (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of denote

of a word : to have (something) as a meaning : to mean (something)
: to show, mark, or be a sign of (something)


de·​note | \ di-ˈnōt How to pronounce denote (audio) \
denoted; denoting

Kids Definition of denote

1 : to serve as a mark or indication of A star on the map denotes a capital.
2 : to have the meaning of : mean "Derby" denotes a contest or a hat.

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More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for denote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denote

Spanish Central: Translation of denote

Nglish: Translation of denote for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denote for Arabic Speakers

Comments on denote

What made you want to look up denote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

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