- the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”
- the act of connoting; the suggesting of an additional meaning for a word or expression, apart from its explicit meaning.
- something suggested or implied by a word or thing, rather than being explicitly named or described: “Religion” has always had a negative connotation for me.
- Logic. the set of attributes constituting the meaning of a term and thus determining the range of objects to which that term may be applied; comprehension; intension.
Origin of connotation
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsmeaning, undertone, overtone, significance, coloring, nuance, hint, essence, suggestion, association
Examples from the Web for connotations
The term has connotations of a category that he does not fall into.Rand Paul Gives War a Chance
August 18, 2014
Those are Western terms, laden with connotations of culture and medicalization.Why Africa’s Turning Anti-Gay
March 31, 2014
The MAP process has its own connotations in Georgian culture as a kind of merit badge of Western acceptance.Obama Tells Georgia to Forget About NATO After Encouraging It to Join
March 27, 2014
All these connotations of becoming a man, do usually tend to mean having sex.Even an Arrest Can’t Stop Clayton Pettet From Losing His Virginity in an Art Show
December 12, 2013
But the indifference to the connotations of "Odyssey" also shows that the name is probably meant for internal use.Why Is the Libya War Called Operation Odyssey Dawn?
March 22, 2011
Its connotations may be extended to mean the entire intellect.War Letters of a Public-School Boy
And he'll have to be fully aware of the humanic equations and all their connotations.Indirection
Everett B. Cole
Yet we do not and cannot see all the connotations which the word has in the speaker's mind.Expository Writing
Mervin James Curl
The words and their connotations (augenweide, wnneclich) are utterly German.The Mediaeval Mind (Volume I of II)
Henry Osborn Taylor
These instructions have no connotations of the end of the world.Solomon and Solomonic Literature
Moncure Daniel Conway
- an association or idea suggested by a word or phrase; implication
- the act or fact of connoting
- logic another name for intension (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for connotations
1530s, from Medieval Latin connotationem (nominative connotatio), from connotat-, past participle stem of connotare "signify in addition to the main meaning," a term in logic, literally "to mark along with," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + notare "to mark" (see note).
A word denotes its primary meaning, its barest adequate definition -- father denotes "one that has begotten." A word connotes the attributes commonly associated with it -- father connotes "male sex, prior existence, greater experience, affection, guidance."
The meaning that a word suggests or implies. A connotation includes the emotions or associations that surround a word. For example, the word modern strictly means “belonging to recent times,” but the word's connotations can include such notions as “new, up to date, experimental.”