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CONNOTATION AND DENOTATION. Contrasting terms in LINGUISTICS. Connotation, also known as affective meaning, refers to the emotive and associational aspect of a term. Denotation, also known as cognitive meaning, refers to the direct relationship between a term and the object, idea, or action it designates. Connotation may be personal (stemming from experience, such as connotations of swimming, which one person may associate with recreation or training for competitions, another with fear of drowning) or common to a group (such as emotions raised by the name of a political leader). Denotation refers to the meaning of a word or expression in relation to everyday life and to other words and expressions: for example, colours can be described in terms either of wavelengths of reflected light or of such relationships as, in English, red with blood, white with snow, green with grass, blue with sea and sky. By virtue of their connotations, the same colours have further associations: red with anger or irritation, white with purity and innocence, green with inexperience or envy, blue with sadness and depression. See SENSE.