[ foot-noht ]
/ ˈfʊtˌnoʊt /
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See synonyms for: footnote / footnoted / footnoting on Thesaurus.com

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), foot·not·ed, foot·not·ing.
to add a footnote or footnotes to (a text, statement, etc.); annotate: to footnote a dissertation.


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Origin of footnote

First recorded in 1835–45; foot + note
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What’s the difference between a footnote and an endnote?

A footnote is a note at the bottom (the “foot”) of a page. An endnote is a note at the end of a text (such as an article, a chapter, or an entire book).

The difference between footnotes and endnotes is their location, not their function. Both consist of information added to a text in another spot, such as an explanation or a citation of a source. They are both usually indicated with some kind of mark, often an asterisk* or a number¹. The same mark appears in another part of the text along with the corresponding note, either at the bottom of the page (making it a footnote) or at the end of the text (making it an endnote).

Of course, if an article is only a single page, the note at the end could be called a footnote or an endnote.

Here’s an example of footnote and endnote used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: I use footnotes for tangential information so that readers can access it without turning the page, but I use endnotes for citations so they don’t clutter up the page.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between footnote and endnote.

Quiz yourself on footnote vs. endnote!

Should footnote or endnote be used in the following sentence?

I thought I had a lot more to read, but then I realized that there is a 27-page _____ section at the end of the book!

How to use footnote in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for footnote

/ (ˈfʊtˌnəʊt) /

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
(tr) 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