AskDefine | Define connote

Dictionary Definition



1 express or state indirectly [syn: imply]
2 involve as a necessary condition of consequence; as in logic; "solving the problem is predicated on understanding it well" [syn: predicate]

User Contributed Dictionary



connoto#Latin, from com-#Latin, + noto#Latin


  • a RP /kəˈnəʊt/|/kɒˈnəʊt/
  • a US /kəˈnoʊt/
  • /k@"n@Ut/
  • Rhymes with: -əʊt


  1. To signify beyond its literal or principal meaning.
    Racism often connotes an underlying fear or ignorance.
  2. To possess an inseparable related condition; to imply as a logical consequence.
    Poverty connotes hunger.
  3. To express without overt reference; to imply
  4. To require as a logical predicate to consequence


to signify beyond principal meaning
  • Bosnian: sugerisati
  • Croatian: konotirati
  • French: connoter, désigner, indiquer, impliquer
  • German: konnotieren, bedeuten
  • Italian: connotare
  • Polish: sugerować
  • Romanian: sugera, implica
  • Serbian: sugerisati
  • Slovene: konotirati
  • Spanish: connotar
to imply, to suggest
  • Bosnian: implicirati
  • Croatian: konotirati, implicirati
  • French: connoter, impliquer
  • German: konnotieren, suggerieren, bedeuten
  • Hungarian: utal
  • Polish: konotować, przywoływaćprzywodzić na myśl,
  • Romanian: implica
  • Romansch: proponer
  • Serbian: implicirati
  • Slovene: namigovati, sugerirati
  • Swedish: innebära

See also



  1. Form of First-person singular present subjunctive, connoter
  2. Form of Third-person singular present subjunctive, connoter
  3. Form of Second-person singular imperative, connoter

Extensive Definition

This word has distinct meanings in other fields: see connotation (semiotics) and connotation and denotation. For the opposite of Connotation see Denotation.
Connotation is a subjective cultural and/or emotional coloration in addition to the explicit or denotative meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language, i.e. emotional association with a word.


Within contemporary society, connotation branches into a mixture of different meanings. These could include the contrast of a word or phrase with its primary, literal meaning (known as a denotation), with what that word or phrase specifically denotes. The connotation essentially relates to how anything may be associated with a word or phrase, for example, an implied value judgment or feelings.
  • A stubborn person may be described as being either strong-willed or pig-headed. Although these have the same literal meaning (i.e. stubborn), strong-willed connotes admiration for the level of someone's will, while pig-headed connotes frustration in dealing with someone. Likewise, used car and previously owned car have the same literal meaning, but many dealerships prefer the latter, since it is thought to have fewer negative connotations.
  • It is often useful to avoid words with strong connotations (especially disparaging ones) when striving to achieve a neutral point of view. A desire for more positive connotations, or fewer negative ones, is one of the main reasons for using euphemisms.


In logic and in some branches of semantics, connotation is more or less synonymous with intension. Connotation is often contrasted with denotation, which is more or less synonymous with extension. Alternatively, the connotation of the word may be thought of as the set of all its possible referents (as opposed to merely the actual ones). A word's denotation is the collection of things it refers to; its connotation is what it implied about the things it is used to refer to. The denotation of dog is (something like) four-legged canine carnivore. So saying "you are a dog" would imply that you were ugly or aggressive rather than stating that you were canine.


See also

connote in Danish: Konnotation
connote in German: Konnotation
connote in Estonian: Konnotatsioon
connote in Hebrew: קונוטציה
connote in Dutch: Connotatie
connote in Polish: Konotacja
connote in Finnish: Konnotaatio
connote in Swedish: Konnotation
connote in Ukrainian: Коннотація

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

add up to, allegorize, allude to, approve, argue, assume, attest, be construed as, be indicative of, be significant of, be symptomatic of, bespeak, betoken, breathe, bring to mind, characterize, demonstrate, denominate, denote, differentiate, disclose, display, entail, evidence, evince, exhibit, express, furnish evidence, give evidence, give indication of, give token, go to show, highlight, hint, identify, illustrate, implicate, imply, import, indicate, infer, insinuate, intend, intimate, involve, manifest, mark, mean, mean to say, note, point indirectly to, point to, presume, presuppose, refer to, reveal, set forth, show, show signs of, signalize, signify, speak for itself, speak volumes, spell, stand for, suggest, suppose, symbolize, symptomatize, symptomize, take for granted, tell, tend to show, testify
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