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.

1835–45; foot + note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
footnote (ˈfʊtˌnəʊt)
1.  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
2.  an additional comment, as to a main statement
3.  (tr) to supply (a page, book, etc) with footnotes

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1841, from foot + note.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
On the other hand, as some commentators have astutely pointed out, the footnote
  is not the be-all and end-all.
Thanks for a great article, and the five books on languages recommended in the
The attentive reader of the accounts has only an obscure footnote to go by.
It is unlikely that solar- or wind-energy will ever be more than an expensive
  footnote to our energy history.
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