head·​note ˈhed-ˌnōt How to pronounce headnote (audio)
: a prefixed note of comment or explanation
: a note prefixed to the report of a decided legal case

Examples of headnote in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The headnote speaks to Rajasthan’s culinary character. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2023 Brassica stems and the ends of green beans may not be great fits for broth, flavor-wise, but plenty of other veggies work; read the headnote of this recipe for a good starting list. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 Kamman attaches no expository headnote to this preparation, no illuminating anecdote that explains the tart’s significance to readers. Mayukh Sen, The New Yorker, 24 Aug. 2021 Recipe headnotes offer a snapshot of the women behind the book. Sarah Henry, Washington Post, 27 June 2019 The headnotes all contain multiple shortcuts and ingredient substitutions, and yet the recipes have a real sense of place. SFChronicle.com, 21 June 2019 Ingredients Ice 1 1/2 ounces white Pineau des Charentes (see headnote) 1 ounce tonic water Twist of grapefruit peel, for garnish 1 sprig fresh thyme, for garnish Steps Fill a wine glass with ice. Sonia Rao, chicagotribune.com, 29 June 2018 One large bunch turnips with greens attached (about 4 turnips; see headnote) Kosher salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup heavy cream Separate the turnips from their greens. Rinse the greens well, then coarsely chop them. Julia Turshen, sacbee, 20 Feb. 2018 Drain; once the spinach is cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Really squeeze (see the headnote). Domenica Marchetti, chicagotribune.com, 26 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'headnote.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of headnote was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near headnote

Cite this Entry

“Headnote.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headnote. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


head·​note ˈhed-ˌnōt How to pronounce headnote (audio)
: a summary prefixed to the report of a decided legal case stating the principles or rulings of the decision and usually the main facts of the case
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