from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To mark; indicate.
  • transitive verb To serve as a symbol or name for the meaning of; signify.
  • transitive verb To signify directly; refer to specifically.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To mark off from others; identify by a mark; designate; name; signify by a sign, especially a visible sign: as, the character × denotes multiplication. See connote.
  • To be the sign or symptom of; show; indicate: as, a quick pulse denotes fever.
  • Synonyms Note, Denote, Connote. See the definitions of these words.
  • To betoken, imply.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To mark out plainly; to signify by a visible sign; to serve as the sign or name of; to indicate; to point out.
  • transitive verb To be the sign of; to betoken; to signify; to mean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To indicate; to mark.
  • verb transitive To make overt.
  • verb transitive To refer to literally; to convey meaning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be a sign or indication of
  • verb have as a meaning
  • verb make known; make an announcement


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French dénoter, from Latin dēnotāre : dē-, de- + notāre, to mark; see connote.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French denoter, from Latin denotare; de- "complete" and notare "to mark (out)"


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word denote.


  • In its present application, particularly, there is no design to let the term denote or insinuate a recourse to any expedients or any line of conduct that is in any degree legally dubious, or that is even of questionable legitimacy.

    An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation Thorstein Veblen 1893

  • Here the terms used in Arabic denote, not the end of hostilities, but an armistice or truce, until such time that the war against Israel can be resumed with better prospects for success.

    On the Jewish Question Bernard Lewis 2007

  • This led to the conception of an imponderable agency capable of certain movements, and to denote this agency the Greek word ether was borrowed.

    Man or Matter Ernst Lehrs

  • Judah and Benjamin -- denote the southern kingdom.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871

  • Thus, the terms denote that a beneficial result has been conferred on a vertebrate subject with an autoimmune or pathogen-induced immunopathology disease or symptom, or with the potential to develop such a disease or symptom. Notable Patent Applications - 07/22/2010 2010

  • By which it should seem that this order was not otherwise hereditary than a man's estate, nor did it give any claim to magistracy; wherefore you shall never find that it disquieted the commonwealth, nor does the name denote any more in Oceana than the duty of such a man's estate to the public.

    The Commonwealth of Oceana James Harrington 1644

  • Those terms denote "membership in an organization of the Department of the Navy that develops and executes military missions involving special operations strategy, doctrine, and tactics," the Navy said in its filings.

    Walt Disney Surrenders to Navy's SEAL Team 6 Ethan Smith 2011

  • Some use the word to denote a set of religious beliefs.

    Eliot Daley: My Memo To Atheists: Why I Choose God Eliot Daley 2012

  • But we haven't yet agreed on a word to denote what the human species is doing now: killing great ecosystems like the world's oceans, destroying the stable climate system upon which agriculture itself depends or driving more than half the species on Earth to extinction.

    John Stanley: Buddhism And The Fate Of The Species John Stanley 2011

  • • The word “sex” is simply that—a word to denote whether a person is male or female.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms Jack Canfield 2011


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • be a sign or indication of; have as a meaning

    Even if the text is not visible, the red octagon denotes "stop" to all motorists in America.

    October 19, 2016