One of the broadest definitions is that of Umberto Eco, who states that ‘Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign’ … Semiotics is concerned with meaning making and representation in many forms, perhaps the most obvious in the form of ‘Texts’ and ‘Media’. [0]


The act of indicating or pointing out by name. The most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to. [1]

In semiotics, denotation is the surface or literal meaning encoded to a signifier, and the definition most likely to appear in a dictionary. [2]


What you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression. An idea that is implied or suggested. [3]

In semiotics, connotation arises when the denotative relationship between a signifier and its signified is inadequate to serve the needs of the community. A second level of meanings is termed connotative. [4]


Created 20/11/2010


[0] Chandler, Daniel. (2001). Semiotics: The Basics. London: Routledge.
1st edition. ISBN0-415-26593-2. Page 2