connote - vocabulary

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connote - verb

To suggest or signify something in addition to the primary meaning, as in A hot cup of tea connotes hospitality and comfort.
With so many mass-market goods made off-shore, American-made products, which are often more expensive, have come to connote luxury.

—Alex Williams “Love It? Check the Label” New York Times, September 6, 2007

Usage Note: Denote and connote are often confused because both words have senses that entail signification. Denote means "to signify directly or literally" and describes the relation between the word and the thing it conventionally names. Connote means "to signify indirectly, suggest or imply" and describes the relation between the word and the images or associations it evokes. Thus, the word river denotes a moving body of water and may connote such things as the relentlessness of time and the changing nature of life.
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