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See more synonyms for denote on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), de·not·ed, de·not·ing.
  1. to be a mark or sign of; indicate: A fever often denotes an infection.
  2. to be a name or designation for; mean.
  3. to represent by a symbol; stand as a symbol for.
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Origin of denote

1585–95; < Middle French dénoter, Latin dēnotāre to mark out, equivalent to dē- de- + notāre to mark; see note
Related formsde·not·a·ble, adjectivede·note·ment, nounun·de·not·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·not·ed, adjective
Can be confusedconnote denote


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

signify, show, evidence, typify, imply, tag, prove, make, flash, mark, indicate, insinuate, finger, bespeak, import, peg, express, intend, spell, betoken

Examples from the Web for denote

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Matthew had turned over his cup to denote that his meal was finished.

  • It does not denote that the two conceptions are the same or that they belong to the same genus.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • In psychotherapy, the term "transference" is used to denote this relationship.

  • Rosamund gave a quiet smile—a smile which seemed to denote power.

    A Modern Tomboy

    L. T. Meade

  • The upper will denote the summer and the lower the winter portion.

British Dictionary definitions for denote


verb (tr; may take a clause as object)
  1. to be a sign, symbol, or symptom of; indicate or designate
  2. (of words, phrases, expressions, etc) to have as a literal or obvious meaning
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Derived Formsdenotable, adjectivedenotement, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin dēnotāre to mark, from notāre to mark, note
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

Word Origin and History for denote


1590s, from Middle French dénoter (14c.), from Latin denotare "denote, mark out," from de- "completely" + notare "to mark" (see note (v.)). Related: Denoted; denoting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper