Definition of denote in English:



  • 1 Be a sign of; indicate.

    ‘this mark denotes purity and quality’
    • ‘Restructuring denotes the reorientation of firms into more efficient units, gaining competitiveness and fuelling growth.’
    • ‘The council has carried out risk assessments on all restricted areas and has reopened nearly three-quarters of the pathways - identified by a pink sign denoting a right of way.’
    • ‘This is a beautiful metaphor that denotes visions of purity and unblemished perfection.’
    • ‘The dotted line with a question mark denotes the suggestion of Ahlrichs that Acanthocephala and Seisonida are sister groups.’
    • ‘Kildare County Council has agreed to erect signs denoting the twinning of Kildare with French town Corps Nuds.’
    • ‘It is signed P O'Neill denoting official sanction.’
    • ‘Conversely the lighting of a candle may be symbolically significant if it denotes bringing of light, that is, relief from suffering or enlightenment.’
    • ‘We have two ‘No Entry’ signs denoting that the road in question is now closed to vehicular traffic and a few paces away we have a gleaming new 50 km sign.’
    • ‘Four pieces of missing homework did not, in Josh's opinion, denote a letter home, and all the hassle that entailed.’
    • ‘A high score on these indicators denotes more emotional support.’
    • ‘After materials had been returned, each participant was thanked and his or her credit slip was signed denoting participation.’
    • ‘These vases were called eheia, denoting their reverberative qualities.’
    • ‘The shaven head denotes purity and egolessness and is said to mitigate past life karma.’
    • ‘Removing one's footwear before entering a home or a temple before worship denotes a sign of respect, humility and submissiveness.’
    • ‘Many of the hotels have German names denoting that the owners are Swiss of German origin.’
    • ‘That's how bad it is - I've had to resort to multiple exclamation marks to denote sarcasm.’
    • ‘The museum also houses the musical pillars, which, as the name denotes, produce a different sound when struck.’
    • ‘A globular point means safety, a conch shape represents fame, a bright yellow flame indicated no obstacles, a lotus and jewel like flame denotes wealth.’
    • ‘I think a lot of people who are drawn to witchcraft sometimes will get a tattoo, or mark themselves in some way to denote a rite of passage or an experience.’
    • ‘Their name was chosen to denote the feeling of being outcasts in society in terms of being musicians not geared towards a mainstream audience.’
    suggest, point to, be evidence of, smack of, conjure up, bring to mind, indicate, show, reveal, demonstrate, intimate, imply, connote, convey, give away, betray
    designate, indicate, be a sign of, be a mark of, signify, signal, symbolize, represent, stand for, mean
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Stand as a name or symbol for.
      ‘the level of output per firm, denoted by X’
      • ‘The menus have helpful symbols denoting hotness, low fat and vegetarian options.’
      • ‘Question marks denote instances where digit identity could not be assigned with certainty.’
      • ‘For the second quarter in a row, the company has had an ‘e’ placed after its trading symbol, denoting a late filing of accounts.’
      • ‘Different stability regions are denoted by different symbols.’
      • ‘Next, each species or cultivar has a list of nurseries that sell it, with symbols denoting new entries, synonyms, awards of merit, variegation and so on.’
      • ‘These included the circle, half-circle and various symbols denoting rain, animal footprints, clouds and travelling signs.’
      • ‘The semantic job of sentences is to say something, which is not to be confused with naming or denoting some thing.’
      • ‘Sigma is the Greek symbol used to denote deviations from the mean.’
      • ‘They used a decimal system and had symbols denoting, for example, 1, 10, and 100 cubits, and they had developed methods for multiplying and dividing.’
      • ‘Bewildered, she attempted to fight her way across the hall to another large staircase, pulling out her schedule from a back jeans pocket and looking desperately around for signs denoting the halls.’
      • ‘To avoid any misunderstandings, I will use the term symbol to denote elements of the set.’
      • ‘Now of course this comment is based on knowledge of our own decimal system which is a positional system with nine special symbols and a zero symbol to denote an empty place.’
      • ‘Each month had a name, denoting some natural feature or event.’
      • ‘In Courchevel, pay attention to the numbers after the name (which denote the height in metres).’
      • ‘Species are denoted by Greek letters and genes are denoted by numbers.’
      • ‘Dark blue indicates deep ocean basins, while light blue denotes shallow seas of the continental shelf.’
      • ‘The names of the strains denote the place where the virus originated or was first isolated.’
      • ‘The main drawback of the Linnean system is that groups must be named with suffixes that denote their rank in this hierarchy.’
      • ‘Plenty Coups, who did not write English, kept accounts on pieces of cardboard with drawings denoting customers' names and marks indicating the money they owed.’
      • ‘X and Y aren't a formula; they're a pair of mathematical symbols used to denote an unknown quantity.’
      represent, be a symbol of, stand for, be a sign of, exemplify
      View synonyms


For an explanation of the difference between denote and connote, see connote


Late 16th century (in the sense be a sign of, mark out): from French dénoter or Latin denotare, from de- away, thoroughly + notare observe, note (from nota a mark).