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 In another footnote, the film was produced by Scott Rudin, who recently apologized and stepped back from upcoming projects following reports of his abusive behavior toward employees. Brian Lowry, CNN, 14 May 2021 One of the few who did was William Burr, a senior analyst at George Washington University’s National Security Archive, who mentioned it in a footnote in a March blog post about threats to use nuclear weapons in the Cold War. New York Times, 22 May 2021 In the intervening period, few noted the Roth Estate’s plan to destroy these papers—it is mentioned in passing in a New York Times Magazine profile of Bailey and in a footnote in a Vulture interview, for example. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 21 May 2021 That's just about the only interesting footnote to another predictable Top 25. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 16 Dec. 2020 In a footnote to his ruling, Smith said he was moved by the appeals from the Hurley and Foley families and friends of the officers., 7 May 2021 Apple said in a footnote to its AirTags announcement that the update will be released at some point next week. Michael Liedtke, ajc, 20 Apr. 2021 Apple said in a footnote to its AirTags announcement that the update will be released at some point next week. CBS News, 20 Apr. 2021 The complaint, in a footnote, has an interesting view as to what a good thing easements can be. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 8 Apr. 2021 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

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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The first known use of footnote was in 1711

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Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Footnote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for footnote



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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