verb (used with object), not·ed, not·ing.


    compare notes, to exchange views, ideas, or impressions: The returning tourists were sitting on the sun deck comparing notes.

Origin of note

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English (< Old French) < Medieval Latin nota sign for musical tone, Latin: mark, sign, lettering; (v.) Middle English noten < Old French noter to mark < Latin notāre, derivative of the noun
Related formsnot·er, nounpre·note, noun, verb (used with object), pre·not·ed, pre·not·ing.sub·note, nounun·der·note, nounun·not·ing, adjective

Synonyms for note

Synonym study

3. See remark. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undernote

Historical Examples of undernote

  • Her tone was chastened, but there was an undernote of warning.

    The Fifth Ace

    Douglas Grant

  • But beneath all our light talk was an undernote of seriousness.

    The Master Mummer

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • His own voice was low and eager, with its undernote of wistfulness.

    Ewing\'s Lady

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • His tone dropped and became gentle with an undernote of pain.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry

    Charles Neville Buck

  • There was an undernote of something new and joyous in the tone of his voice as he spoke to her.

British Dictionary definitions for undernote



a brief summary or record in writing, esp a jotting for future reference
a brief letter, usually of an informal nature
a formal written communication, esp from one government to another
a short written statement giving any kind of information
a critical comment, explanatory statement, or reference in the text of a book, often preceded by a number
short for banknote
a characteristic element or atmospherea note of sarcasm
a distinctive vocal sound, as of a species of bird or animalthe note of the nightingale
any of a series of graphic signs representing a musical sound whose pitch is indicated by position on the stave and whose duration is indicated by the sign's shape
Also called (esp US and Canadian): tone a musical sound of definite fundamental frequency or pitch
a key on a piano, organ, etc
a sound, as from a musical instrument, used as a signal or warningthe note to retreat was sounded
short for promissory note
archaic, or poetic a tune or melody
of note
  1. distinguished or famousan athlete of note
  2. worth noticing or paying attention to; importantnothing of note
strike the right note to behave appropriately
strike a false note to behave inappropriately
take note (often foll by of) to observe carefully; pay close attention (to)

verb (tr; may take a clause as object)

to notice; perceivehe noted that there was a man in the shadows
to pay close attention to; observethey noted every movement
to make a written note or memorandum ofshe noted the date in her diary
to make particular mention of; remark uponI note that you do not wear shoes
to write down (music, a melody, etc) in notes
to take (an unpaid or dishonoured bill of exchange) to a notary public to re-present the bill and if it is still unaccepted or unpaid to note the circumstances in a registerSee protest (def. 12)
a less common word for annotate
See also notes
Derived Formsnoteless, adjective

Word Origin for note

C13: via Old French from Latin nota sign, indication
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

Word Origin and History for undernote



c.1300, "a song, music, instrumental music; a musical note," from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which is perhaps related to notus, past participle of noscere (Old Latin *gnoscere) "to know" (see know). Meaning "notice, attention, reputation" is early 14c. Meaning "brief writing" is from 1540s.



c.1200, "observe, take mental note of, mark carefully," from Old French noter "indicate, designate; take note of, write down," from Latin notare "to mark, to note, to make a note," from nota "mark, sign, note, character, letter" (see note (n.)). Meaning "to set in writing" is from early 14c. Related: Noted; noting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with undernote


see bread and butter letter (note); compare notes; make a note of; of note; strike the right note; take note; take notes.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.