fine print


Definition of 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

Examples of fine print in a Sentence

Read the fine print before you sign the contract.

Recent Examples on the Web

But after years of savings interest rates scraping along the bottom at just tenths of a percent, many of these new offers are by comparison quite attractive — as long as savers read the fine print under the big, bold type, and meet all requirements. Katheleen Conti,, "Banks are offering higher interest rates for savings accounts. But you still need to be smart," 11 July 2018 To do that, go to and fill out the details and read the fine print, which is actually not overwhelming. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Texas Live! makes opening date official, plans four-day party," 21 June 2018 As always with fare sales, there is fine print aplenty: Friday and Sunday travel is excluded, ruling out quick weekend getaways. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Southwest Airlines 3-day fall fare sale: Flights from $49," 5 June 2018 As for the rest of the fine print, the sale includes travel from June 5 through Oct. 31. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "96-hour sale: Southwest fares fall below $50 one-way, including summer flights," 15 May 2018 Commuters may be displeased to learn of some of the fine print included in Metro’s plans for late-2018 track improvements. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "Two Red Line stations to shut down for 45 days this summer; major work to affect nearly every line in 2018," 13 Feb. 2018 Salon services and Drybar blowouts are excluded and other fine print applies. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Spa deals: New Phoenician Spa has summer discounts," 11 July 2018 Consumer watchdogs are fearful that the FCC could decide that if consent to receive robocalls is part of the fine print of a contract, the consumer would never be able to revoke such consent. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Could a tsunami of robocalls be heading to our cell phones?," 5 July 2018 Mercury governs communication, and when this expressive planet reverses, be sure to read the fine print. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of fine print

1891, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fine print

Share fine print

Statistics for fine print

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fine print

The first known use of fine print was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fine print

fine print


English Language Learners Definition of fine print

: the part of an agreement or document that contains important details and that is sometimes written in small letters

fine print


Legal Definition of fine print 

: a part of an agreement or document spelling out restrictions or limitations often in small type or obscure language

Comments on fine print

What made you want to look up fine print? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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