Hot News

Denotation and Connotation


Denotation and Connotation

Denotation and Connotation

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, you will focus on the following objective: Understanding denotation and connotation.

Denotation and Connotation

Vocabulary Terms

The denotation of a word is its literal meaning; the connotation of a word is its implied meaning, with the emotions it evokes.

Literature Connection

Mark Twain is a master at conveying suggestions both directly (through denotation, the literal meaning of words) and indirectly (through connotation, or implication).

“Pretty soon Tom and Joe arrived, and then all hands set about adorning the house with flowers”
—Mark Twain, from “The Californian’s Tale”

In the quotation above, Twain uses the word adorning, instead of decorating, ornamenting, or embellishing. Although these words have a similar denotation, the connotations of adorning best fit the context. Adorning implies enhancing the appearance of something that is already beautiful in itself-- namely, the “rose-clad” cottage that delighted the narrator.

A chart like the one below can help you analyze, or look more closely at, words—at their similarities, their differences, and their shades of meaning. Follow these instructions to create the chart:

  • In the left-hand column of the chart, place the words you will analyze. 
  • Consult a dictionary to find definitions, or denotations, for them. 
  • In the second column of the chart, enter the definition for each term. 
  • In the third column of the chart, record ideas, images, or feelings that you associate with each word. Such associations are the word’s connotations.
A Semantic Features Chart

Word Denotation Connotation
famishing suffering from a lack of something necessary starving, enduring terrible hunger

Denotation and Connotation Quiz

Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


No comments
Post a Comment