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 Tables spill out onto the sunny pavement and a blackboard on the wall denotes the specials of the day. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Breakfasts (and Brunches!) in Sydney," 13 Mar. 2018 If the payment is based off a final tax return completed after their death, an economic impact payment check may even denote that the person is deceased next to their name. Sarah Skidmore Sell, The Christian Science Monitor, "Deceased taxpayers were sent relief checks. Should they be returned?," 8 May 2020 The euphemistic term denotes stringent lockdown rules: closure of schools and non-essential businesses, mandatory mask-wearing (or risk heavy fines), among other measures. Jerrine Tan, Wired, "What Singapore Can Tell the World About Personal Liberty," 29 Apr. 2020 That purposeful spilling, and the fact that something spilled cannot be unspilled, denotes for Calasso the irretrievable nature of time’s arrow and time’s wound. New York Times, "A Writer Pursues His Subjects as a Hunter Stalks His Prey," 28 Apr. 2020 Reds and purples, on the other hand, denote materials with volcanic or lava flow origins, according to Maria Temming at Science News. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Gorgeous New Map of the Moon Is Most Detailed to Date," 27 Apr. 2020 In everyday language, happiness is used to denote everything from a passing good mood to a deeper sense of meaning in life. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "The Three Equations for a Happy Life," 9 Apr. 2020 The News could not confirm its findings in four states (denoted with an asterisk) with local sources, but has located court precedent or state law in each. Dallas Morning News, "Texas courts allow hypnosis despite science, overturned convictions," 9 Apr. 2020 Mackie drops the hammerstone into a plastic zip-lock bag with a small piece of paper denoting its depth and location in the pit. Rafal Gerszak, Smithsonian, "It’s one of the greatest mysteries of our time. But archaeologists and even geneticists are closer than ever to understanding when humans made the first bold journey to the Americas," 19 Dec. 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 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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

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