foot·​note | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌnōt How to pronounce footnote (audio) \

Definition of footnote

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a note of reference, explanation, or comment usually placed below the text on a printed page
2a : one that is a relatively subordinate or minor part (as of an event, work, or field) a movement now regarded as a footnote to architectural history


footnoted; footnoting; footnotes

Definition of footnote (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to furnish with a footnote : annotate

Examples of footnote in a Sentence

Noun a movement now regarded as a footnote to history
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His parents were an early example of a showbiz couple: The elder Stevens was a young filmmaker on the rise, having already achieved a footnote in film history as the director of photography for dozens of Laurel and Hardy comedies. Peter Tonguette, WSJ, 21 July 2022 That was the extent of his big league career, a forgettable footnote in baseball history. Hayes Gardner, Washington Post, 9 July 2022 In the majority opinion, Bradley devoted a lengthy footnote to the issue. Bruce Vielmetti, Journal Sentinel, 7 July 2022 That was the extent of his big league career, a forgettable footnote in baseball history. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 5 July 2022 That comment is punctuated by the footnote about Madigan and McClain talking about getting the same person work as a lobbyist for gambling interests. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 24 May 2022 In the majority opinion, Rebecca Bradley responds in a footnote. Bruce Vielmetti, Journal Sentinel, 7 July 2022 Apple says in a footnote that these two features are coming in an update later this year: Edit or unsend a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it. Chris Smith, BGR, 8 June 2022 Alito may have misapprehended Gorsuch’s use of history, as his colleague himself suggested: Gorsuch wrote in a footnote that the Sixth Amendment would still forbid non-unanimous jury verdicts in any event. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 27 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His argument is sophisticated and footnoted, but jargon-free and illustrated in a way that helps even readers with no economic training to follow it. The Economist, 12 Dec. 2019 That makes much of the display feel less like rewriting history than simply footnoting more thoroughly., 18 Oct. 2019 Each section comes heavily footnoted, indicating the appearance of traditional folk tale motifs — taboos, odd coincidences. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2019 For instance, a recent booking at a local beach resort hotel was footnoted in the small print as having a $50-a-night fee for any vehicle brought to the property. Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2019 Those who bothered to read all four hundred and forty-eight pages discovered a gripping document, painstakingly footnoted and verified. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 24 July 2019 Given that data analytics have changed under the new standard, investors need to look beyond financial statement footnotes to grasp the proper disclosures, Ms. Peters said. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 10 July 2019 Lately, the sweep of reductive history has elevated Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan to almost mythic status, leaving the other great conductors of the 20th century as footnotes that only specialist collectors care about. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, 22 Aug. 2018 Two European novelists, Ronald Firbank and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, are footnoted, with their birth and death years, their vocations, and the statement that New Directions published them in the United States. Ethan Mordden, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of footnote


1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1864, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for footnote

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The first known use of footnote was in 1711

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Dictionary Entries Near footnote



foot of the fine

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Footnote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for footnote


foot·​note | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌnōt How to pronounce footnote (audio) \

Kids Definition of footnote

: a note at the bottom of a page


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