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. noun
    an idea that is implied or suggested
    see moresee less
    type of:
    meaning, substance
    the idea that is intended
  2. noun
    what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression
    synonyms: intension
    see moresee less
    type of:
    import, meaning, significance, signification
    the message that is intended or expressed or signified
Commonly confused words

connotation / denotation

A connotation is the feeling a word invokes. But take note! A denotation is what the word literally says. If these words were on a trip, connotation would be the baggage, and denotation would be the traveler.

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