Denote vs. Define - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Denote and Define is that the Denote is a translation of a sign to its literal meaning, more or less like dictionaries try to define it and Define is a statement that explains the meaning of a term.

Wikipedia

  • Denote

    Denotation is a translation of a sign to its meaning, precisely to its literal meaning, more or less like dictionaries try to define it. Denotation is sometimes contrasted to connotation, which includes associated meanings. The denotational meaning of a word is perceived through visible concepts, whereas connotational meaning evokes sensible attitudes towards the phenomena.

  • Define

    A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the essence of a term) and extensional definitions (which proceed by listing the objects that a term describes). Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, and thus require multiple definitions.In mathematics, a definition is used to give a precise meaning to a new term, instead of describing a pre-existing term. Definitions and axioms are the basis on which all of modern mathematics is constructed.

Wiktionary

  • Denote (verb)

    To indicate; to mark.

    "The yellow blazes denote the trail."

  • Denote (verb)

    To make overt.

    "The tears denoted her true feelings."

  • Denote (verb)

    To refer to literally; to convey as meaning.

    ""Pre-" denotes "before.""

  • Define (verb)

    To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly.

    "the defining power of an optical instrument"

  • Define (verb)

    To settle, decide an argument etc. 16th-17th c.

  • Define (verb)

    To express the essential nature of something.

    "I define myself as a techno-anarchist."

  • Define (verb)

    To state the meaning of a word, phrase, sign, or symbol.

    "The textbook defined speed as velocity divided by time."

  • Define (verb)

    To describe, explain, or make definite and clear.

  • Define (verb)

    To demark sharply the outlines or limits of an area or concept.

    "to define the legal boundaries of a property"

  • Define (verb)

    To establish the referent of a term or notation.

  • Define (noun)

    A kind of macro in source code that replaces one text string with another wherever it occurs.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Define (verb)

    state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of

    "the contract will seek to define the client's obligations"

  • Define (verb)

    give the meaning of (a word or phrase), especially in a dictionary

    "the dictionary defines it as ‘a type of pasture’"

  • Define (verb)

    make up or establish the character or essence of

    "for some, the football club defines their identity"

  • Define (verb)

    mark out the boundary or limits of

    "the river defines the park's boundary"

  • Define (verb)

    make clear the outline of; delineate

    "she defined her eyes by applying eyeshadow to her eyelids"

Webster Dictionary

  • Denote

    To mark out plainly; to signify by a visible sign; to serve as the sign or name of; to indicate; to point out; as, the hands of the clock denote the hour.

  • Denote

    To be the sign of; to betoken; to signify; to mean.

  • Define

    To fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end.

  • Define

    To determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.

  • Define

    To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly; as, the defining power of an optical instrument.

  • Define

    To determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret; as, to define a word, a phrase, or a scientific term.

  • Define (verb)

    To determine; to decide.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Denote (verb)

    be a sign or indication of;

    "Her smile denoted that she agreed"

  • Denote (verb)

    have as a meaning;

    "`multi-' denotes `many'"

  • Denote (verb)

    make known; make an announcement;

    "She denoted her feelings clearly"

  • Define (verb)

    give a definition for the meaning of a word;

    "Define `sadness'"

  • Define (verb)

    determine the essential quality of

  • Define (verb)

    determine the nature of;

    "What defines a good wine?"

  • Define (verb)

    delineate the form or outline of;

    "The tree was clearly defined by the light"

    "The camera could define the smallest object"

Illustrations

Define

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