Connotation

By Megan Smith

Definition

Connotation is the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning.


For instance, “Wall Street” literally means a street situated in Lower Manhattan but connotatively it refers to “wealth” and “power”.

Example from Literature

Look at the following lines from Shakespeare’s play “As you Like It”:


“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,”


“A stage” connotes the world; “players” suggests human beings; and “parts” implies different stages of their lives.

Examples of connoative words

A dove implies peace or gentility.

Home suggests family, comfort and security.

Pushy has a negative connotation and refers to someone as loud-mouthed and irritating.


Connotation provides the basis for symbolic meanings of words because symbolic meanings of objects are different from their literal sense.