an·​no·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-nə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce annotation (audio) \

Definition of annotation

1 : a note added by way of comment or explanation The bibliography was provided with helpful annotations.
2 : the act of annotating something

Examples of annotation in a Sentence

Without the annotations, the diagram would be hard to understand. the author's annotation of the diagram
Recent Examples on the Web What is presented here isn’t just annotation but the total institution, which shapes life profoundly, being commented on, spoken to, addressed by its charges. Rachel Kushner, The New Yorker, 12 May 2021 That gets you a host of other benefits as well, including support for an unlimited number of devices and document annotation features. David Nield, Popular Science, 25 Feb. 2021 Yet this collection of 23 radio scripts, edited with scholarly annotation by Tony Medawar and Douglas Greene, is nearly as much fun just to read. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2021 Because a preprint is public, any scientist can review the paper, and their comments may be posted to it using annotation software such as; or shared on social media for all readers to consider. Simine Vazire, Wired, 25 June 2020 Each part of the document, from the chart captions to the annotations, must be preserved for the A.I. technologies reviewing them to work well. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 28 Apr. 2020 And Jude Law, who plays Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts film series, will read Dumbledore’s annotations about the stories. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 26 Feb. 2020 But LexisNexis' annotations of the statute are eligible for copyright protection. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 3 Dec. 2019 With regard to Georgia’s code, the author of the annotations qualifies as a legislator, Roberts said. Bill Rankin, ajc, 28 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annotation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of annotation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for annotation

see annotate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About annotation

Time Traveler for annotation

Time Traveler

The first known use of annotation was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for annotation

Last Updated

23 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Annotation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for annotation



English Language Learners Definition of annotation

: a note added to a text, book, drawing, etc., as a comment or explanation
: the act of adding notes or comments to something : the act of annotating something


an·​no·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-nə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce annotation (audio) \

Legal Definition of annotation

1 : a note added (as to a statute) by way of comment or explanation often furnishing summaries of relevant court decisions
2 capitalized : an informational and descriptive note or essay (as about a case or legal issue) especially in American Law Reports


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!