the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”
the suggesting of additional meanings by a word or expression, apart from its literal meaning; the act of connoting.
Compare denotation ( def 1 ).
something suggested or implied by a word or thing, rather than being explicitly named or described: “Religion” has always had a negative connotation for me.
Logic. the set of attributes constituting the meaning of a term and thus determining the range of objects to which that term may be applied; comprehension; intension.

1375–1425 for earlier sense; 1525–35 for current senses; late Middle English connotacion < Medieval Latin connotātiōn- (stem of connotātiō), equivalent to connotāt(us) (past participle of connotāre to connote; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion

connotative [kon-uh-tey-tiv, kuh-noh-tuh-] , connotive, adjective
connotatively, connotively, adverb
nonconnotative, adjective
nonconnotatively, adverb
unconnotative, adjective

2. undertone, implication, import. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
connotation (ˌkɒnəˈteɪʃən)
1.  an association or idea suggested by a word or phrase; implication
2.  the act or fact of connoting
3.  logic another name for intension

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, from M.L. connotationem, from connotare "signify in addition to the main meaning," a term in logic, from L. com- "together" + notare "to mark" (see note). A word denotes its primary meaning, its barest adequate definition -- father denotes "one that has begotten." A
word connotes the attributes commonly associated with it -- father connotes "male sex, prior existence, greater experience, affection, guidance."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

connotation definition

The meaning that a word suggests or implies. A connotation includes the emotions or associations that surround a word. For example, the word modern strictly means “belonging to recent times,” but the word's connotations can include such notions as “new, up to date, experimental.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It tested parents' tolerance of ambiguity, since it lacked strong gender
Because words have meaning, and that particular word carries some pretty
  dangerous connotations in an educational context.
In banking, however, the word has less pleasant connotations.
It simply gives false connotations as to what these events are.
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