Definition of connote in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈnəʊt/


[with object]
1(Of a word) imply or suggest (an idea or feeling) in addition to the literal or primary meaning: the term ‘modern science’ usually connotes a complete openness to empirical testing
More example sentences
  • But there are differences between straights and gays, as connoted by the word most homosexuals use to identify themselves.
  • The first five terms above, included in the index, connote a feeling of being emotionally unsettled, off-balance or anxious, which are standard reactions to stressful events.
  • The denial of ‘political’ agendas is a standard trope, especially under authoritarian regimes where the word connotes divisive haggling against the interests of the united people.
imply, suggest, indicate, signify, have overtones of, have undertones of, hint at, give a feeling of, have an aura of, have an atmosphere of, give the impression of, smack of, be associated with, allude to
1.1(Of a fact) imply as a consequence or condition: spinsterhood connoted failure
More example sentences
  • However, that fact doesn't connote sinister forces at work.
  • The Minister compares a genuine life sentence, which connotes seriousness of offending and proper punishment, with the fact that someone is embarrassed about a past offence.
  • The establishment of the bureau does not connote a new-found official concern over the shocking conditions facing coal miners.


Connote does not mean the same as denote. Whereas denote refers to the literal, primary meaning of something, connote refers to other characteristics suggested or implied by that thing. Thus, one might say that a word like mother denotes ‘a woman who is a parent’ but connotes qualities such as protection and affection.



Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnəteɪtɪv/
Pronunciation: /kəˈnəʊtətɪv/
Example sentences
  • Provocations include not only the lack of grammar, but highly disjunctive and often obscure use of line breaks which abandon denotative and connotative functions of words in favour of half swallowed or choked sounds.
  • Stories are never just arguments; they work most effectively by being neither didactic nor definitive: they attract and hold our attention because they are connotative not denotative.
  • A focus on language, connotative and denotative meaning, is especially important in the cultural adaptation process.


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin connotare 'mark in addition', from con- 'together with' + notare 'to note' (from nota 'a mark').

Words that rhyme with connote

afloat, bloat, boat, capote, coat, cote, dote, emote, float, gloat, goat, groat, misquote, moat, mote, note, oat, outvote, promote, quote, rote, shoat, smote, stoat, Succoth, table d'hôte, Terre Haute, throat, tote, vote, wrote

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|note

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