I am looking to use "enote" in a mathematical description where the symbol occurs before the concept, and denote seems inappropriate. (I suppose with rewriting this can be overcome, but that's a different matter which doesn't help with my query.) I learned this usage somewhere, many years ago, but am unable to find a web resource on the usage of enote to check my recollection. Any guidance is welcome.

Edit #1: Although I don't have access to a library right now, I note that some other people have concerns about certain usages of denote (possibly those where one could correctly use enote?!)


1 Answer 1


The only time I've ever seen the word "enote" is as an internet term for "electronic note".

I think you can still use denote when the symbol occurs before the concept; in fact, that's pretty much what the word is for. Consider the example given when you google it.

be a sign of; indicate.


stand as a name or symbol for.

If the concept occurred before the symbol, that's when denote would be inappropriate. With the usage you've described, it seems like the logical choice: the symbol denotes the concept, and the concept is denoted by the symbol.

  • Thank you, but my question is about the usage of enote. Mar 22, 2016 at 8:35
  • My answer is basically longhand for "There is no usage of enote unless you mean an electronic note and are okay using slang terms." Mar 22, 2016 at 8:36
  • I suppose my question would then be "Why are you looking to use a word that as far as I can tell doesn't exist when you already have one which serves the purpose you needed a word for?" Mar 22, 2016 at 8:38
  • I have seen enote used in mathematical settings in the past, here's one: math.stackexchange.com/questions/112532/… and it is not used to mean electronic note. It is a very uncommon usage, but isn't that what makes language flexible and interesting? Mar 22, 2016 at 8:38
  • The problem with making language more flexible and interesting than the "rules" advise is that you end up saying things where nobody knows what you mean. :P Honestly if I had read that post outside the context of this question I'd have assumed Ewan made a typo. I have been able to find literally nothing supporting "enote" as a mathematical term. Mar 22, 2016 at 8:41

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