connotation

A connotation is a commonly understood cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word’s or phrase’s explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation. A connotation is frequently described as either positive or negative, with regards to its pleasing or displeasing emotional connection. For example, a stubborn person may be described as being either strong-willed or pig-headed; although these have the same literal meaning (stubborn), strong-willed connotes admiration for the level of someone’s will (a positive connotation), while pig-headed connotes frustration in dealing with someone (a negative connotation).