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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from denote

denotement \ -​ˈnōt-​mənt How to pronounce denotement (audio) \ 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

Readings above 50 indicate expansion whereas readings below that level denote contraction. ... Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Factory-Sector Growth Accelerated in January," 1 Feb. 2019 Manufactured homes come in three sizes: single-, double-, and triple-wide, which denotes the number of sections the house is composed of. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "The Impressive Evolution Of Prefabricated Houses," 24 Dec. 2018 In oil and refined products markets, open interest, which denotes the number of outstanding futures and options contracts, has fallen to its lowest levels in about two years, according to Goldman Sachs research. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "Oil’s Sharp Swings Are a Symptom of a Changing Market," 9 Dec. 2018 The 15 districts are all featured on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ‘Red to Blue’ target list, a program that denotes top-tier races. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump attacks Kavanaugh accuser," 25 Sep. 2018 One culinary-focused streamer, Cooking For Noobs, actually has a section in her profile that denotes her relationship status. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "For women on Twitch, disclosing their relationship status is a minefield," 8 Aug. 2018 On Friday, Madrid reactivated a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont for the crime of rebelion, which denotes rebellion against the state. Jefferson Chase, USA TODAY, "German court extends detention of ex-Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont," 27 Mar. 2018 Police are still not saying who may have left a package bomb on Mason’s front porch Monday, which denoted in his kitchen, killing him and critically injuring his mother. Alejandra Matos, Houston Chronicle, "Friends, family celebrate life of bombing victim, ‘a mover and shaker, even at 17’," 14 Mar. 2018 The language of intersectionality is popular among liberals and on the left, used to denote the speaker’s attention to the subtleties of structural oppression. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about denote

Statistics for denote

Last Updated

26 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for denote

The first known use of denote was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for denote



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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!