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Alternative forms[edit]


From foot +‎ note.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfʊtˌnəʊt/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfʊtˌnoʊt/


footnote (plural footnotes)

  1. A short piece of text, often numbered, placed at the bottom of a printed page, that adds a comment, citation, reference etc, to a designated part of the main text.
    Coordinate terms: headnote, endnote, hatnote, marginal note
    consult the footnotes for more details
  2. (by extension) An event of lesser importance than some larger event to which it is related.
    a mere footnote in history
    • 2012, Martin McQuillan, Political Archive of Paul de Man, page 72:
      If we are another footnote to Plato, Plato was himself already a footnote to still earlier footnotes, in an endless chain of footnotes to footnotes
    • 2014, Michael White, "Roll up, roll up! The Amazing Salmond will show a Scotland you won't believe", The Guardian, 8 September 2014:
      In that context Scotland's fate is a modest element, a symptom of wider fragmentation of the current global order, a footnote to the fall of empire and the Berlin Wall, important to us and punchdrunk neighbours like France and Italy, a mere curiosity to emerging titans like Brazil.
  3. A qualification to the import of something.



footnote (third-person singular simple present footnotes, present participle footnoting, simple past and past participle footnoted)

  1. To add footnotes to a text.
    Synonym: annotate

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]