Connotations and Denotations Examples

Connotation is a type of word that does not have any specific meaning. Denotation is the literal or dictionary meaning of a word or phrase.

What is Connotation?

Connotation is a type of word that does not have any specific meaning. It is a subjective meaning you can find when looking at the context and the dictionary definition.

A connotation word is a word that has an emotional or personal meaning attached to it. It may not have a literal meaning but instead an emotional one. For example, if I say that my girlfriend is “humble,” it means that she has a certain quality to make her seem less important than she is. If I say she is “selfless,” she puts others before herself without thinking about herself first.

What is Denotation?

Denotation is the literal or dictionary meaning of a word or phrase. It can also be defined as the explicit and direct meaning of a word. It is also used to describe the literal meaning of a word. This type of meaning is usually what you find in a dictionary. For example, the denotative meaning of “chair” is a piece of furniture that has four legs, a seat and back support, and is used for seating one person at a time.

Connotation Vs. Annotation 

Annotation is an extra bit of information you can add to a word or phrase. For example, if you’re talking about the book The Catcher in the Rye and you want to explain that it’s the title of the book and not a character, you can add an annotation:

Annotation: The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J. D. Salinger.

Connotation is a feeling or association connected with a word or phrase—like how “cat” makes most people think of cute felines rather than scary lions. It’s what gives words their emotional charge. If someone says, “I’m going to throw up,” there are several connotations: fear, nausea, and vomit (and perhaps even embarrassment). If someone says, “I’m going to throw down,” there are several connotations too: challenge, confrontation, and maybe even dancing (depending on who’s talking).

Connotation words list

  • abhorrent
  • adventurous
  • aesthetic
  • ambitious
  • angelic
  • ardent
  • audacious
  • awake
  • bizarre
  • bohemian
  • brilliant
  • bubble
  • blue
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • Abundant
  • Academic: Relating to a school or college or the subject matter taught there.
  • Active: Moving and making changes in the world around you.
  • Adventure: An experience that is exciting, daring, or dangerous.
  • Adventurous: Exciting and daring, as an adventure would be.
  • Aggressive: Taking action against others to get what you want; attacking others.
  • Alluring: Attractive and tempting. Something that attracts strongly.

Examples in Literature

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is often referred to as proud by other characters because he seems untouchable, having little sympathy for others’ plights or problems. However, once we learn more about his character through Elizabeth Bennet’s narration, we understand that he is not proud but rather shy and reserved in nature.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet, has a very different meaning:

O that this too too solid flesh would melt

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fixed

His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!

Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” The poem describes a raven that has come to mourn over the death of a man named Lenore. The poem itself does not mention any specific details about the relationship between Lenore and the speaker (although it is implied that this speaker was her lover). Still, we can infer from the description that she must have been very close to him. This idea leads us to think about how tragic it would be if someone we loved died suddenly and unexpectedly—and this idea is what makes us feel sad when we read or hear the poem.

Use of Connotative Language

Connotative language is often used in poetry to compare two seemingly unrelated things. In the following example, the poet uses connotative language to compare her feelings about her boyfriend with those of a cat:

Shakespeare repeatedly uses the word “connotation” in his plays to create an atmosphere of death and tragedy. In Hamlet, for example, when Hamlet’s father appears to him as a ghost, he says:

“I am thy father’s spirit, doom’d for a certain term to walk the night.”

This line is full of connotations; it suggests that ghosts only appear after death and that they must haunt the place where their bodies lie. It also means that spirits are doomed to wander forever by wandering about at night. This creates an atmosphere of sadness and misery, which prepares us for Hamlet’s revenge on Claudius.

In Romeo and Juliette, Shakespeare uses connotation again to build an atmosphere of tragedy. In Act II Scene I, Romeo and Benvolio argue about whether it’s possible to fall in love at first sight:

“I would not take this from report; it is, And my heart breaks at it.”

This line has more meanings than just one; it could mean that Romeo is sorrowful because he thinks Juliette has died because of his actions, or it could mean that Romeo’s heart breaks because he feels guilty about what he has done. Either way, this line creates

Jane Austen uses the term “dear aunt” in Pride and Prejudice (1813) to convey affection and respect toward Mrs. Gardiner. The term would only be used when referring to someone close to you – such as your mother or father – so Austen uses it here to show how well Mrs. Gardiner knows her

More to read:

AlliterationClimaxInterjection100 Examples of Simile
AllusionCacophonyImagerySatire
AllegoryComedyIronySoliloquy
AnalogyColloquialism

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