9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-noht] /dɪˈnoʊt/
verb (used with object), denoted, denoting.
to be a mark or sign of; indicate:
A fever often denotes an infection.
to be a name or designation for; mean.
to represent by a symbol; stand as a symbol for.
Origin of denote
1585-95; < Middle French dénoter, Latin dēnotāre to mark out, equivalent to dē- de- + notāre to mark; see note
Related forms
denotable, adjective
denotement, noun
undenotable, adjective
undenoted, adjective
Can be confused
connote, denote.
1. mark, signal, signify, evidence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for denote
  • The childish reasoning and antics of the heroine are more foolish than fun and denote immaturity, not sensuality.
  • Like-colored bars denote closely related species.
  • The Mayans used an eyelike character to denote zero.
  • Different colors denote different backgrounds.
  • We create competing symbolic environments and are constantly defending our symbols that denote our status and power.
  • Physicists use the Greek letter "nu" to denote neutrinos.
  • Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
  • It does not denote any particular intelligence or cleverness.
  • In my gradebook, I use red to denote a zero due to absence.
  • The internet needs a way to denote irony in written form.
British Dictionary definitions for denote


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object)
to be a sign, symbol, or symptom of; indicate or designate
(of words, phrases, expressions, etc) to have as a literal or obvious meaning
Derived Forms
denotable, adjective
denotement, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēnotāre to mark, from notāre to mark, note
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for denote

1590s, from Middle French dénoter (14c.), from Latin denotare "denote, mark out," from de- "completely" + notare "to mark" (see note (v.)). Related: Denoted; denoting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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