The UVic Writer's Guide
Connotation / Denotation
Words have both denotations (literal meanings) and connotations (suggestive meanings). Fungus is a scientific term denoting a certain kind of natural growth,
but the word also has certain connotations of disease and ugliness.
Connotations can be both positive and negative; for example, lady carries a hint of both elegance and subservience. The influence
of connotative meaning can also change the denotative meaning,
one example being the thoroughly transformed word gay.
Dictionary of Usage
Table of Contents
Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria,
This page updated September 22, 1995