Definition of connote in English:



  • 1(of a word) imply or suggest (an idea or feeling) in addition to the literal or primary meaning.

    ‘the term “modern science” usually connotes a complete openness to empirical testing’
    • ‘Almost always used by outsiders rather than inhabitants of the communities so labeled, the term connoted both poverty and deviance.’
    • ‘Certainly the term connotes intervention by some intelligent agent.’
    • ‘The first five terms above, included in the index, connote a feeling of being emotionally unsettled, off-balance or anxious, which are standard reactions to stressful events.’
    • ‘The term connotes any subgroup that has traditionally been underrepresented in substance abuse prevention and treatment.’
    • ‘The latter term connotes a reform which is designed to return an institution to its original purpose, from which it has fallen away.’
    • ‘While this term connotes an image of a student that wavers from the norm, the research shows that most community college students are nontraditional in some sense, and, therefore, are the norm.’
    • ‘While connoting a contempt for personal attacks, the term also reflects a reality: the political platforms of candidates are no longer the main focus of the electorate and the media.’
    • ‘The denial of ‘political’ agendas is a standard trope, especially under authoritarian regimes where the word connotes divisive haggling against the interests of the united people.’
    • ‘It consists mostly of ‘jaspilite,’ an unofficial term connoting rock with highly folded, alternating bands of black hematite and red jasper.’
    • ‘There is a sense in which the word person is merely the singular form of people and in which both terms connote no more than membership in a certain biological species.’
    • ‘This position does not make critical theorists moral skeptics, at least insofar as that term connotes a negative or irrational quality.’
    • ‘Does this term connote the subjective and self-serving claims of the mission planners, or the foreseeable objective consequences of a particular mission?’
    • ‘It is in these two paragraphs that the reference to the phrase ‘international standards’ is used, although without elucidation of what the term connotes or how it is defined.’
    • ‘This word connotes a single letter or a word and also compound meanings.’
    • ‘This can be seen as a welcome development, since the term ‘administrative’ used to connote the notion of a close, perhaps too close, link with the relevant government department.’
    • ‘The word connotes secrecy and duplicity, but the perpetrators have been completely up front and honest about their goals and about their motives.’
    • ‘Originally, this word connoted precisely the opposite of what it has come to mean.’
    • ‘But there are differences between straights and gays, as connoted by the word most homosexuals use to identify themselves.’
    • ‘Their very name connotes hope, and engagement with the culture around them.’
    • ‘The term connotes a relationship with the Almighty that is as real as a piece of matter that can be actually held in hand.’
    imply, suggest, indicate, signify, have overtones of, have undertones of, hint at, give a feeling of, have an aura of, have an atmosphere of, give the impression of, smack of, be associated with, allude to
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    1. 1.1 (of a fact) imply as a consequence or condition.
      ‘in that period a log cabin connoted hard luck’
      • ‘The Minister compares a genuine life sentence, which connotes seriousness of offending and proper punishment, with the fact that someone is embarrassed about a past offence.’
      • ‘Their refusal to denounce these measures can only connote approval.’
      • ‘However, that fact doesn't connote sinister forces at work.’
      • ‘It is, however, open to question whether this fact connotes dissimilarity of attitudes on the part of the spouses.’
      • ‘Does merely being gay connote political advocacy?’
      • ‘By contrast, a cave of concrete would connote fear.’
      • ‘We do not deny the miraculous conception; we accept the virgin birth with all that this fact connotes and implies.’
      • ‘The establishment of the bureau does not connote a new-found official concern over the shocking conditions facing coal miners.’
      • ‘It is both a human construction as well as a ‘fact’ that connotes something more solid.’


Connote does not mean the same as denote. Denote refers to the literal, primary meaning of something; connote refers to other characteristics suggested or implied by that thing. Thus, one might say that the word ‘mother’ denotes ‘a woman who is a parent’ but connotes qualities such as ‘protection’ and ‘affection’


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin connotare ‘mark in addition’, from con- ‘together with’ + notare ‘to note’ (from nota ‘a mark’).