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 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, "Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals Don't Really Do Their Job," 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, "How A.I. may make sense of 50,000 coronavirus research papers," 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, "Harry Potter Film and Stage Actors Join Forces for a New Wizarding World Project," 26 Feb. 2020 But LexisNexis' annotations of the statute are eligible for copyright protection. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Justices debate allowing state law to be “hidden behind a pay wall”," 3 Dec. 2019 With regard to Georgia’s code, the author of the annotations qualifies as a legislator, Roberts said. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Supreme Court says Georgia must provide official code free to public," 28 Apr. 2020 The annotation feature, for example, could allow trolls to draw offensive shapes. Los Angeles Times, "Is Zoom safe to use? Here’s what you need to know," 13 Apr. 2020 Small enough on-screen to allow annotation or modification. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Video Games Are Better Without Game-Play," 22 Oct. 2019 Zoom also has collaborative features like whiteboarding, annotation tools for screen-sharing, nonverbal feedback to mimic raising your hand in class, and local recording so that students can easily revisit lectures. Anabel Pasarow,, "Using Zoom For Remote Work Or School? Here’s How To Make The Most Of It," 18 Mar. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for annotation

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

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Cite this Entry

“Annotation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce annotation (audio)

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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