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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.