What is connotation?


A connotation is an emotion or notion associated with a word other than its literal or primary meaning (the denotation). A group of words could have the same basic concepts but radically diverse connotations—the feelings or meanings a term, phrase, or thing implies. “This clothes is budget-friendly!” as opposed to “This apparel is cheap!” Because the word cheap also implies low quality, “budget-friendly” works way nicer than “cheap.”


Types of Connotations:



A word with a good connotation conjures up positive feelings and memories. So because the word “aroma” indicates that the fragrance is nice and welcoming, “the aroma of my mother’s cooking” evokes a favorable connection.



A word that conjures up bad feelings and emotions. The sense of the previous line changes significantly if the word “aroma” is replaced with “the smell of my grandmother’s cooking.” Despite the fact that both “aroma” and “stench” refer to odor, “stench” has a negative connotation, making the dish sound less attractive.



A word that has neither a good nor a negative connotation. When talking about a pet, for instance, the word “puppy” has a neutral connotation; yet, the phrase “mutt” has a negative connotation, while the word “purebred” has a positive one.


What is denotation?


The word’s precise meaning, or “clear definition,” is called denotation. Denotation is distinguished from connotation, which refers to the range of feelings and thoughts evoked by a word beyond its dictionary definition. For example, the phrases “home” and “residence” have the same meaning—a structure where citizens reside the word “home” connotes warmth and family, whereas “residence” does not. The personal or psychological associations which are part of a word’s connotation should not be included in its denotation.


Types of denotations:


Denotations are static and unaffected by context.

The meaning of a word is determined by a person’s general culture and personal upbringing. For example, one person’s perception of “father” may be stern, unforgiving, and distant, while another perceives “father” as loving tenderness. The meaning is determined by the individual’s personal experiences. However, the word’s connotation is the same for both individuals.


Denotations are not always neutral.

Many publications refer to denotations as “neutral,” as opposed to connotations, which might be favorable, unfavorable, or neutral. This is a misunderstanding




Dabble: to display a passing interest in anything.


Denotation: I dabble in dancing.

Connotation: One should never dabble in drinking.


When someone says you should never dabble in drinking (or anything bad), they mean you should never touch them, regardless of how piqued your curiosity or how briefly you experimented with them. “Dabbling in drinking” has the sense of “staying back.” Don’t even bother going there.


Innocent: not guilty of any offense.


Denotation: The court ruled that she is innocent.

Connotation: What does she know, in this case? She’s so innocent.


The insinuation here is that she is not just guilt-free, but also deficient in worldly knowledge and experience. She’s gullible. It has a pejorative meaning, implying that the speaker is smarter than the woman being discussed.