Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dee-noh-tey-tiv, dih-noh-tuh-tiv] /ˈdi noʊˌteɪ tɪv, dɪˈnoʊ tə tɪv/
having power to denote.
denoting or tending to denote:
the denotative meaning of a word.
Origin of denotative
1605-15; < Latindēnotātus (past participle of dēnotāre to mark out, denote) + -ive
Related forms
denotatively, adverb
denotativeness, noun
nondenotative, adjective
nondenotatively, adverb
undenotative, adjective
undenotatively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for denotative
Historical Examples
  • Definitions are of three types, denotative, expository, scientific.

    How We Think John Dewey
  • It finds that "reality" is a denotative term, a word used to designate indifferently everything that happens.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Most terms (the exceptions and doubtful cases will be discussed hereafter) have two functions, a denotative and a connotative.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • In every language those words which are denotative of sounds are nearly always also imitative of them.

  • Meaning here, then, can be neither the connotative nor denotative reference of a term; they are covered by the two prior formulae.

  • The workings of my thought thus determine both its denotative and its connotative significance more fully.

    The Meaning of Truth William James
British Dictionary definitions for denotative


able to denote; designative
explicit; overt
Derived Forms
denotatively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for denotative

1610s, from Latin denotat-, past participle stem of denotare (see denote) + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for denotative

Word Value for denotative

Scrabble Words With Friends