Definition of connotation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkänəˈtāSH(ə)n/


1An idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning: the word “discipline” has unhappy connotations of punishment and repression the work functions both by analogy and by connotation
More example sentences
  • Leaving aside the religious connotations of the word, an idol in the realm of pop culture is someone that people look up to and engage with.
  • Wouldn't you have to abandon any swear words with sexual connotations to maintain a consistent position?
  • The word carries serious negative connotations that stretch back to the days of colonial Africa.
overtone, undertone, undercurrent, implication, hidden meaning, nuance, hint, echo, vibrations, association, intimation, suggestion, suspicion, insinuation
1.1 Philosophy The abstract meaning or intension of a term, which forms a principle determining which objects or concepts it applies to. Often contrasted with denotation.
Example sentences
  • Seemingly gender-neutral terms such as aggressive and professional have different connotations when applied to men and women.
  • The term is useful because it is free from some of the acquired connotations of some other terms used for the same or a similar phenomenon.
  • One connotation of the term is that the imbalance must be really serious or exceptional.


Mid 16th century: from medieval Latin connotatio(n-), from connotare 'mark in addition' (see connote).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·no·ta·tion

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