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 When Jimbo Fisher’s legacy at Texas A&M is assessed, the news from Thursday may not be much more than a footnote. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "What early recruiting violations will mean for Jimbo Fisher’s legacy at Texas A&M," 3 July 2020 And the footnote around the latter will enhance your reputation by emphasizing your longevity. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Bumping a milestone event to next year," 2 July 2020 In a footnote, the company noted that’s more than the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 67 different countries. Maxine Joselow, Scientific American, "Lyft Aims for an All-Electric Fleet by 2030—Is That Possible?," 23 June 2020 Whatever the reason, the members all went their separate ways upon returning to the United States, and the Dragonz seemed doomed to become but a mere footnote in Survivor lore. Dalton Ross,, "The Dragonz reunite for first new track in 10 years: 'Thru the Fire'," 23 June 2020 Nick Watney became a footnote in golf history Friday as the first player to test positive for the coronavirus. Mark Heim |, al, "PGA’s RBC Heritage (6/20) third-round live stream: TV info, time, how to watch online," 20 June 2020 In a normal election cycle, that development might represent a mere footnote. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "The Deeper Meaning of a Debate About Debates," 20 June 2020 The invitation should probably include some footnote about how such people will be asked to leave. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: I’m Afraid to Go to My Brother’s Wedding," 17 June 2020 Justices Rebecca Bradley and Daniel Kelly joined all but a few paragraphs and one footnote of Hagedorn's dissent. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State Supreme Court says judge should not have become Facebook friends with woman while he decided her custody case," 16 June 2020 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, "The case for migration—in pictures," 12 Dec. 2019 That makes much of the display feel less like rewriting history than simply footnoting more thoroughly., "The Brancusi gallery at the Museum of Modern Art.," 18 Oct. 2019 Each section comes heavily footnoted, indicating the appearance of traditional folk tale motifs — taboos, odd coincidences. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "‘In the Dream House’ Recounts an Abusive Relationship Using Dozens of Genres," 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, "Feedback: Readers lash out at resort fees," 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, "“Accountability”? The Mueller Hearing Is How Trump Escapes It," 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, "New Lease Accounting Standard May Mislead Investors, Credit Suisse Says," 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, "‘George Szell: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Review: A Maestro’s Time in Cleveland Still Shines," 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, "‘The Luck of Friendship’ Review: Dear Playwright, Dear Publisher," 9 Mar. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Footnote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for footnote


How to pronounce footnote (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of footnote

: a note with added information that is placed below the text on a printed page
: someone or something that is remembered or regarded as a minor or unimportant part of an event, work, etc.


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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