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According to the definition provided in the dictionary, denotation is an explicit meaning of a word or an expression. It is actually its literal meaning, for instance, ‘the organ in your chest that is responsible for pumping blood around your body’ is the denotation to the word ‘heart.’ What is the connotative meaning of this word? The connotation represents heart as the main symbol of true love and tenderness. It is more an association with this word rather than its literal meaning.
Denotation vs Connotation
Denotation is the literal explanation of the word. If you want to find the denotative meaning of a word, you should refer to a dictionary. Connotation is the implicit meaning of the word or the association. Let’s take a look at the following examples of denotative and connotative meanings of the word.
- A baby – a very young child (denotation)
- A baby – a girlfriend (connotation)
- Blue – the color of sky and water (denotation)
- Blue – association with cold, sadness, or depression (connotation)
Considering the fact that poetry mostly relies on connotation in order to create some imagery and enrich its lines with powerful words, it is worth considering the philosophical works in order to find denotation definition in literature. There are also plenty of examples in modern culture, for instance, how-to videos, cooking shows, blogs, etc. Since the main purpose of these shows and videos is to define, explain, and give clear instructions, these sources are the most reliable in terms of finding the denotation examples.
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