Connotation

(122 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

The linguistic term used for the associations which may be usually evoked by the word, or which may be evoked by a specific context, as opposed to the literal sense of a word or its strict dictionary definition which is called its denotation. For example, the word Nazi denotes the National Socialist Party in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s but it is frequently used for its ability to connote fascists in general, bad people and racists. Similary a rose is a flower which connotes love and passion whereas (in Anglo-Saxon cultures) Arum lillies connote death. This example shows how connotations are culture-specific. In France, Arum lillies connote weddings, as in Japan purple rather than black is the colour of mourning clothes.

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Citation:
Editors. "Connotation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=219, accessed 22 August 2014.]