Denotative and Connotative Meanings

When defining words found in a text, often, words have a definition that is more than a dictionary definition. So, we can say that words have two definitions. A denotative meaning, and a connotative meaning.

The denotative meaning is the literal meaning of the word. So, basically, if you’re wondering what the word meant in its denotative meaning, then you could just look up the word in the dictionary, and the dictionary definition would describe the meaning of that word.

However, the connotative meaning of the word also involves the emotional reaction a word may invoke. It depends on the reader’s associations they may make with that word. So, it goes further than the denotative meaning.

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