Denotation vs. Connotation


[pur-spuh-rey-shuh n] /ˈpɜr spəˈreɪ ʃən/
a salty, watery fluid secreted by the sweat glands of the skin, especially when very warm as a result of strenuous exertion; sweat.
the act or process of perspiring.
Origin of perspiration
1605-15, in sense “a breathing through”; 1620-30 for current senses; < New Latin perspīrātiōn- (stem of perspīrātiō) imperceptible sweating, literally, a breathing through. See perspire, -ation
1. Perspiration, sweat refer primarily to moisture exuded by animals and people from the pores of the skin. Perspiration is often regarded as the more polite word, and is often used overfastidiously by those who consider sweat coarse; but sweat is a strong word and in some cases obviously more appropriate: a light perspiration; the sweat of his brow. Sweat is always used when referring to animals or objects: Sweat drips from a horse's flanks. It may also be used metaphorically of objects: Sweat forms on apples after they are gathered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perspiration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why, confound you, sir, here we have just got her into as lovely a perspiration as ever I saw upon a human subject!

    The Sapphire Cross George Manville Fenn
  • His face was livid, and great beads of perspiration stood on his brow.

  • A bath hin my present state of perspiration will be the certain death of me, I know hit will.

  • The spasm loosed beads of perspiration which stood cold on his forehead.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • His bloated face took on the colour of his khaki jacket and beads of perspiration welled up about his lips.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • His voice was choked and his pale face was glistening with perspiration.

    The Second Voice Mann Rubin
British Dictionary definitions for perspiration


the act or process of insensibly eliminating fluid through the pores of the skin, which evaporates immediately
the sensible elimination of fluid through the pores of the skin, which is visible as droplets on the skin
the salty fluid secreted through the pores of the skin; sweat
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 perspiration

1610s, from French perspiration (1560s), noun of action from perspirer "perspire," from Latin perspirare "blow or breathe constantly," from per- "through" (see per) + spirare "to breathe, blow" (see spirit (n.)). Applied to excretion of invisible moistures through the skin (1620s), hence used as a euphemism for "sweat" from 1725.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perspiration in Medicine

perspiration per·spi·ra·tion (pûr'spə-rā'shən)

  1. The fluid, consisting of water with small amounts of urea and salts, that is excreted through the pores of the skin by the sweat glands.

  2. The act or process of excreting this fluid through the pores of the skin.

per·spir'a·to'ry (pər-spīr'ə-tôr'ē, pûr'spər-ə-) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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