plural noun mar·gi·na·lia \ˌmär-jə-ˈnā-lē-ə\

Definition of marginalia

  1. 1 :  marginal notes or embellishments (as in a book)

  2. 2 :  nonessential items the meat and marginalia of American politics — Saturday Rev.

marginalia was our Word of the Day on 09/07/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

We don't consider a word's etymology to be marginalia, so we'll start off by telling you the etymology of this one. Marginalia is a New Latin word that can be traced back to the Latin forms margin- and margo, meaning "margin." Marginalia is a relatively new word; our earliest evidence of its use is from 1832. The related adjective marginal is quite a bit older; it was first used in 1573. On the other end of the spectrum is another relative, marginalize. That word was first used in 1970.

Origin and Etymology of marginalia

New Latin, from Medieval Latin, neuter plural of marginalis

First Known Use: 1819

Learn More about marginalia

Seen and Heard

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


contemplative of or relative to the past

Get Word of the Day daily email!