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Definition of "denotative" [de•not•a•tive]

  • Denoting or naming; designative. (adjective)
  • Specific or direct: denotative and connotative meanings. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "denotative" in a sentence
  • "But to call the critical writing of Samuel Johnson or S.T. Coleridge or Henry James "theory" is merely to engage in denotative game playing."
  • "It’s by no means impossible to interpret that in denotative terms, split the portmanteau words back into their roots — “moongrowl” as “mongrel”, “moon” and “growl” — take coinages as new signifiers for new signifieds — “rowl” as a combination of “prowl” and “growl” — and so on."
  • "White devotes a considerable section of his reply to straightening me out on what philosophers mean by "denotative" and "connotative," for failure to heed this, he suggests, I should "win… some kind of prize for philosophical incompetence.""