Does the word connotate exist in modern language?
This is a question that is not agreed upon in the
English-speaking community. It is used, but some people think
incorrectly. Some dictionaries list it as an obsolete form,
replaced by "connote." However, other dictionaries list it as a
regular entry, and many people use it. So the debate is whether
usage trumps tradition, as with many other words. In any case, the
word is alive and well, and used often, whether or not it is used
The ultimate authority on English usage is the Oxford English
Dictionary ("OED"), and in the USA another popular authority is
Webster's. Neither has an entry for "*connotate" but both have an
entry for "connote":
The incorrect form "*connotate" probably derives from
back-formation from the noun "connotation."