connotation

When you're talking about the implied subtext of words rather than their literal meaning, reach for the noun connotation. A political boss might not want to be called "boss" because of the negative connotations.

From the Latin com- "with" + notare "to mark," this word is all about reading between the lines. The literal meaning (or denotation) of Wall Street, for instance, is "a street in lower Manhattan that's home to many financial institutions," but the same phrase's connotations may include "wealth," "power," or "greed," depending on your experiences and opinions. A closely related word is implication.

DEFINITIONS OF: connotation

1

n an idea that is implied or suggested

Type of:
meaning, substance
the idea that is intended

n what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression

Synonyms:
intension
Type of:
import, meaning, significance, signification
the message that is intended or expressed or signified
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