Guide to Literary Terms

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I need examples of denotation and connotation. All words have a denotation and connotation. The denotation refers to the most basic or specific meaning of a word. In contrast, a connotation is an...

I need examples of denotation and connotation. All words have a denotation and connotation. The denotation refers to the most basic or specific meaning of a word. In contrast, a connotation is an idea that is suggested by or associated with a word. For example, the word home is just a name of structure, but the word has connotation of a nation, a place of warmth, comfort, and affection. 

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An example of the difference between connotation and denotation can be found in the distinction between the words "childish" and "childlike." While the denotations for these two words are essentially identical, the first has a more insulting connotation while the latter reads as more whimsical and positive.


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Denotation can be thought of as dictionary meanings or definitions. Connotation  is related to the subjective and cultural experiences of individuals. For example, when a person uses the word, “father,” it will not be value free. A father may connote various other thoughts and feelings such as kindness, severity, love, or abuse. Therefore, in interpreting a text, it will be important to ask what words connote in that particular context. Also it will be important to realize that words can connote very different notions with a change in time and place. Here is another example from the modern...

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hayleyet | Student

Denotation refers to the literal meaning of a word, while connotation refers to the additional meanings and moods one associates with it. Often, figures of speech play on metaphors. For example, the phrase "her eyes were like the sea..." might play on the sea's connotation of being beautiful, deep, blue, or mysterious. Words can share denotations yet have different connotations. Consider adjectives like 'hyper' and 'spirited' or 'curious' and 'nosy'. Both words in each pair have essentially the same denotation, but vary in connotation. Normally, 'curious' and 'spirited' are positive connotations, while 'hyper' and 'nosy' are seen as having negative ones. 

 

arrellbelle | Student

Denotation is the dictionary definition of a term. It goes by the book, essentially. Whereas, a connotation is what we associate the term with.

For example, if we look at the term rose. The denotation is that it is a red, wild flower. If we look at the connotations, we naturally associate a rose with Valentine's Day or romance and courting.