Connotation is a common emotion associated with some word or phrases. It is addition to the literal definition of the word. Connotation can change from person to person, depending on their individual association with the word or phrase. It is commonly known as undertone. Tone can give the word or phrase a negative or positive connotation.

Types of Connotation


Negative connotation is when the word implies something negative or informal. It causes the audience to associate the target with something bad, causing them to try to distance themselves from the topic or have a negative feeling towards it. (i.e. "There is an intruder in the house.")


Positive Connotation is when the word implies something positive or formal. It has the opposite impact of a negative connotation. (i.e. "There is a guest in the house.")

Other Variations

Word choice in an argument can change the impact of an argument in other ways than just "good" and "bad." A neutral connotation is often used in a scientific setting, or when someone is trying to sound unbiased. Connotation can also be informal/formal ("Hi dad." vs. "Hello father.") which helps set the tone of an argument or vary your credibility in different audiences.
Any word choice has an effect, so any given word will have some sort of connotation. (i.e. "Glare" and "Stare" have a different implication that their synonyms "Glance" and "Peep." These words imply a differing amount of time, which means that they all have a connotation of duration.)

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