Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of denotation?

The definition of denotation is the definition a dictionary provides for a given word.


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Denotation is the definition a word has in the dictionary. The way people respond to that word is not taken into account. Two words may have the same denotation, but their connotation could be different.

Correct example:

  • Curious and inquisitive both mean eager to learn, but inquisitive is sometimes thought to connotatively imply a pushier method of learning information.


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