What are Connotations?


Connotation comes from a Latin word ‘connotare,’ that means, ‘to mark in addition.’ However, the connotation is the associated meaning, which is indicated by a word and not the thing that the word describes explicitly. Apart from the literal meaning, each word carries an emotional and cultural association. 

Meaning of Connotation: 
Connotation is a feeling or idea that a word suggests for a person and it is not similar to the primary or literal meaning. In brief, connotation is an association implied by a word or phrase. In brief, it refers to the emotional aspect of the word. Hollywood has a connotation of romance and sparkling aspect. 

For instance, ‘wall street’ is a street that is located in Lower Manhattan. Connotatively, Lower Manhattan refers to power and wealth. 

Definition of Connotation

Connotation refers to the secondary meaning of a word, which is not its literal or primary meaning. It is also known as the associated meaning of the word. The purpose of connoting is to suggest an additional meaning of a word that is not its specific meaning. To make it clear we need an example. ‘Home’ means house, cottage, hut, mansion, residence, etc. The connotation of ‘Home’ is comfort, a place of warmth.

Examples of Connotation

ome Common Connotation Example:
Pairs of words with similar denotation and different connotation:

Some Positive Connotations:

Some Negative Connotations:

Connotation vs Denotation

The differences between connotation and denotation are mentioned here.
  • Connotation is the secondary meaning or a word, whereas denotation is the literal meaning of the word. Connotation and denotation are opposite. For instance, chicken refers to the animal, but connotative,refers to a coward or a quitter.
  • Connotation refers to the emotions as well as feelings, whereas denotation simply presents the literal meaning.
  • Denotation is precise, realistic and direct, on the other hand, the connotation is culturally structured and symbolic. Connotation refers a good array of positive and negative associations. The denotation of the word ‘snake’ is reptile, scaly, whereas the connotation of the word is evil, betrayal.
  • Words with the similar literal meanings or denotations, have different connotations.
  • Writers of the nonfiction prefer to use the denotation to present the clear meanings of the words, but the writers of fiction or poets prefer to use connotations to inculcate the meanings beyond the literal. 

Connotation in a Sentence

The application of connotation in literature -

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” 
It is a line from the sonnet written by Shakespeare. Here, 'a summer's day' refers to the fairness of his lady.

"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,”

The lines mentioned here are from “As you Like it" written by Shakespeare. Here, ‘a stage’ implies the world and ‘parts’ signifies different stages of their lives and ‘players’ connote human beings.