To denote is to draw attention to something or to show what it means. All of the googly-eyed looks that a girl gives to a boy might do more to denote her feelings for him than leaving a note in his locker.

Denote comes from the Latin root dēnotāre, "to mark out." Using a particular facial expression can denote meaning, as in, "All of the crinkled foreheads and squinted eyebrows denoted a lack of understanding among the math students." Words and symbols also point to, or denote, meaning, "If he had used PST to denote the fact that he was in the Pacific time zone, she would have known that it was only 4:00 a.m. and too early to call from New York."

Definitions of denote
  1. verb
    have as a meaning
    “`multi-' denotes `many'”
    synonyms: refer
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    convolute, pervert, sophisticate, twist, twist around
    practice sophistry; change the meaning of or be vague about in order to mislead or deceive
    euphemise, euphemize
    refer to something with a euphemism
    come back, hark back, recall, return
    go back to something earlier
    identify, name
    give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property
    refer (a word or name) to a person or thing
    speak disparagingly of; e.g., make a racial slur
    express, state
    indicate through a symbol, formula, etc.
    enumerate, itemise, itemize, recite
    specify individually
    list, number
    go back, recur
    return in thought or speech to something
    give the names of
    express a choice or opinion
    express one's choice or preference by vote
    type of:
    intend, mean, signify, stand for
    denote or connote
  2. verb
    be a sign or indication of
    “Her smile denoted that she agreed”
    have as a meaning
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    type of:
    denominate, designate
    assign a name or title to
  3. verb
    make known; make an announcement
    “She denoted her feelings clearly”
    synonyms: announce
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    announce the termination of, as of treaties
    announce for a score; of cards in a card game
    announce one's presence
    announce as the result of an investigation or experience or finding
    blazon out, cry
    proclaim or announce in public
    trump, trump out
    proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare
    blare out, blat out
    announce loudly
    call out
    call out loudly, as of names or numbers
    advertise, advertize, publicise, publicize
    call attention to
    publicize with, or as if with, a poster
    announce by means of a sound
    check in, sign in
    announce one's arrival, e.g. at hotels or airports
    check out
    announce one's departure from a hotel
    clock off, clock out, punch out
    register one's departure from work
    count off
    call in turn from right to left or from back to front numbers that determine some position or function
    publicize widely or highly, as if with a headline
    advertize noisily or blatantly
    bill, placard
    publicize or announce by placards
    type of:
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
Commonly confused words

connote / denote

Don't let the rhyme fool you — to connote is to imply a meaning or condition, and to denote is to define exactly. Connote is like giving a hint, but to denote is to refer to something outright.

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Word Family

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