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 denote (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 The term, which emerges from Mexican slang used to denote something vulgar or of little value, has been embraced by artists and urbanists who see in it an aesthetic of resilience. Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2021 Forecasters use three-month time blocks to denote the seasons, which makes things neater for observation and record-keeping purposes. Leigh Morgan, al, 22 Sep. 2021 Aside from the traditional names given to full moons based on the calendar, other types of special moons can occur and have names that denote them. USA Today, 18 Sep. 2021 Janness also worked as a bartender at an Italian restaurant at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, where the rainbow crosswalks denote the area’s significance as the center of the area’s LGBTQ community, and a haven. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 Together, Erradi and Azabal ground their sisterly relationship in poignant scenes that denote the characters’ self-less mutual support. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2021 Terms such as ‘Need Help’, ‘Please Advise’ or ‘Information Only’ should be inserted in email subject lines to denote required response times. Mark Settle, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 And most hospitals have rules about colors, which are used to denote floors and specialties, so suddenly showing up in leopard print or awning stripes as the mood strikes is not really an option. New York Times, 9 June 2021 Some archivists cited the damage done to centuries-old documents by outdated cataloging or preservation methods: lamination, tape, ink stamps, ballpoint-pen markings to denote library ownership. Olivia Campbell, The Atlantic, 13 July 2021

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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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for denote



English Language Learners Definition of denote

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Nglish: Translation of denote for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denote for Arabic Speakers


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