An example of denotation is the actual definition of the word "love" listed in a dictionary, instead of all of the feelings associated with the word love.
The denotations of the two expressions "the morning star" and "the evening star" are the same (i.e. both expressions denote the planet Venus), but their connotations are different.
An example of denotation is a symbol that represents a brand name.
An example of denotation is calling an auto mechanic a "car doctor."
Origin of denotation
- From to denote (from Middle French denoter, from Latin denotare "denote, mark out", itself from de- "completely" + notare "to mark") + -ation