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

The curator’s preamble and annotations are missing. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 Then there are her annotations of the photographs made by the U.S. government in the post-Civil War years, when tribes were invited to D.C. to negotiate treaties. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Wendy Red Star's New Exhibition Is Part Historical Corrective, Part Ghost Story," 2 Mar. 2019 The sketches, which also show Diana’s annotations, will be changed every six months to show a variety of designs created for the late princess. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Rare Sketches of Princess Diana's Iconic Wardrobe Go on Display at Kensington Palace," 19 Feb. 2019 As Josh Sacks notes, the cost of this annotation far exceeds the cost of collecting the road imagery, probably by two orders of magnitude. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk promises big new Tesla Autopilot upgrade, but is it legal?," 10 Dec. 2018 The writing’s been on the wall about annotations for some time now. Jon Porter, The Verge, "YouTube annotations will disappear for good in January," 27 Nov. 2018 But users quickly improvised, re-posting screenshots from others’ Stories on their own, often with annotations or comments. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet," 8 Aug. 2018 Like just about every other plot element, Josh’s mental issues are telegraphed by lazy visual annotations rather than solid writing. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: Two Brothers, One Therapist and an ‘Aardvark’," 12 Apr. 2018 Another playlist, for the Travel Channel, further defined his tastes by including annotations of the songs. Randall Roberts,, "Anthony Bourdain wasn't just a food lover — he was a music freak, too," 8 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of annotation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for annotation

see annotate

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Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for annotation

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

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with annotation

Spanish Central: Translation of annotation

Nglish: Translation of annotation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of annotation for Arabic Speakers

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