denote vs. connote
denote vs. connote: What's the difference?
Denote means to indicate or to be a sign of. Connote means to signify or suggest. Thus, something that denotes is clearer and more straightforward, while something that connotes is subtler and more ambiguous. Think of a denotation as the direct meaning of a word or expression, while a connotation refers to its secondary or associated meanings.
- to be a mark or sign of; indicate: A fever often denotes an infection.
- to be a name or designation for; mean.
- to represent by a symbol, or to be a symbol for.