fine print


: something thoroughly and often deliberately obscure
especially : a part of an agreement or document spelling out restrictions and limitations often in small type or obscure language

Example Sentences

Read the fine print before you sign the contract.
Recent Examples on the Web Always read the fine print, though: many of those offers, freebies, and special prices expire after about a year. Amanda Prahl, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2023 Certain programs have rules around birthday freebies, such as a previous purchase or minimum spend a certain amount of time before signing up (or, prior to your birthday date), so be sure to read the fine print before redeeming your rewards. Jamie Ballard, Woman's Day, 23 Mar. 2023 Bain urged new bettors to always read the fine print. Globe Staff,, 21 Mar. 2023 Its fine print notes that taxes, fees and surcharges, including a broadcast surcharge of up to $22.20 per month, are extra and subject to change both during and after the promotional period. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2023 But their legal fine print requires drivers to stay alert and be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. Cade Metz, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2023 Google's fine print actually says all these Pixel phone deals will be around until Christmas day. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 13 Dec. 2022 Tesla's fine print says, for example, that a vehicle such as the Model 3 should maintain at least 70 percent of its charge capacity while its pack is still under warranty. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 26 Oct. 2022 In other words, don’t assume all private insurance is alike—read the policy’s fine print. Jim Probasco, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fine print was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near fine print

Cite this Entry

“Fine print.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

fine print

: a part of an agreement or document spelling out restrictions or limitations often in small type or obscure language
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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