Denotation: The strict, literal, dictionary definition of a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color. See Connotation.

Example:

1. Good noght, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest
http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/connotation.html


2. external image 100px-Cartoony_red_rose.svg.png
The denotation of this example is a red rose with a green stem.
http://www.answers.com/denotation&r=67

3. external image 100px-Cartoony_heart.svg.png
The connotation is a symbol of love and affection, not in the way of a rose, but a symbol of true love.
http://www.answers.com/denotation&r=67