- the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience.
- a word that names or signifies something specific: “Wind” is the denotation for air in natural motion. “Poodle” is the denotation for a certain breed of dog.
- the act or fact of denoting; indication.
- something that denotes; mark; symbol.
- the class of particulars to which a term is applicable.
- that which is represented by a sign.
Origin of denotation
Examples from the Web for denotation
Historical Examples of denotation
The denotation of the tenses was effected by appropriate signs.The Stranger in France
How little is the difference in denotation, how great the difference in suggestion!Materials and Methods of Fiction
We ought, if possible, to define in consonance with the denotation.Analysis of Mr. Mill's System of Logic
For the denotation may be increased in a sense without affecting the connotation.
Connotation and Denotation are often said to vary inversely in quantity.
1530s, "indication," from Late Latin denotationem (nominative denotatio), noun of action from past participle stem of denotare (see denote). As a term in logic, from 1843 (contrasted with connotation).
The basic dictionary meaning of a word, without its connotations. For example, the denotation of the word modern is “belonging to recent times,” although the word may have different connotations.