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[foo t-noht] /ˈfʊtˌnoʊt/
an explanatory or documenting note or comment at the bottom of a page, referring to a specific part of the text on the page.
a minor or tangential comment or event added or subordinated to a main statement or more important event.
verb (used with object), footnoted, footnoting.
to add a footnote or footnotes to (a text, statement, etc.); annotate:
to footnote a dissertation.
Origin of footnote
First recorded in 1835-45; foot + note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for footnote
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Transcriber's note: No footnote text was found for this footnote marker.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • Well, they ought to print the thing, if only as a footnote to your drawings, Sis.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • Transcriber's note:No anchor for this footnote could be found on this page.

  • Mr. Logan writes to the papers for an explanation which is given in a footnote.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • The record of what she did is but a footnote to the page of what she suffered.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain Edfrid A. Bingham
British Dictionary definitions for footnote


a note printed at the bottom of a page, to which attention is drawn by means of a reference mark in the body of the text
an additional comment, as to a main statement
(transitive) to supply (a page, book, etc) with footnotes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for footnote

1841, from foot (n.) + note (n.). So called from its original position at the foot of a page. Also sometimes formerly Bottom note. As a verb, from 1864. Related: Footnoted; footnoting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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