Meaning of denotation

de•no•ta•tion

Pronunciation: (dē"nō-tā'shun), [key]
— n.
  1. the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience. Cf. connotation.
  2. a word that names or signifies something specific: “Wind” is the denotation for air in natural motion. “Poodle” is the denotation for a certain breed of dog.
  3. the act or fact of denoting; indication.
  4. something that denotes; mark; symbol.
    1. the class of particulars to which a term is applicable.
    2. that which is represented by a sign.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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