Connotation & Denotation

Words To Know



The ideas and feelings associated with the word.


"Andrea is so mean to me, telling me rude remarks!" gossiped Joanna to her friends.

Explanation of Example:

Joanna's usage of connotation here is she said Andrea is mean because she always makes rude remarks, but it is not that. Andrea is just simply brutal when she tells the truth. Andrea is very honest.



The real meaning of a word based on the dictionary.


"Andrea is too honest!" Joanna complained to her friends.

Explanation of Example:

Joanna's usage of denotation in this sentence is the word honest. Joanna could have said she was mean because she always made rude remarks, but that would be connotation.

Difference Between Connotation & Denotation

From the examples above you can tell Joanna said Andrea was mean for making rude remarks, and that was considered connotation because that was her ideas and feelings towards the real word. Then in the second example Joanna said Andrea was very honest, she was using the correct word based on the dictionary.

Ways To Remember The Difference

Dictionary = Denotation

Connotation = Connection to feelings and ideas