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What Is Denotation? (with Examples)Denotation is the literal meaning of a word. (You can think of denotation as the dictionary definition of a word.)
Denotation contrasts with connotation, which refers to the feelings or ideas suggested by a word.
So, the literal meaning of a word is the word's denotation, and the non-literal meaning of a word (e.g., based on an implication or a shared emotional association) is the word's connotation.
Examples of Denotation and Connotation for the Same WordHere are some examples of denotation and connotation associated with the same word:
|Fox||Red small wild dog||Attractive lady|
|Greasy||Covered in grease||Creepy|
|Snake||Long legless reptile||Untrustworthy person|
Positive and Negative Connotations of Words with Similar DenotationsHere are some examples of words with a similar denotation but very different connotations:
|Word with a Positive Connotation||Word with a Negative Connotation||Approximate Denotation of Both|