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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
1835-45; foot + note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for footnote
  • 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 footnote.
  • 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.
  • Fox may be the footnote to what could be the real story.
  • The bacteria-caused plague is more than a grim historical footnote today.
  • footnote on the above: meant to use the electromagnetic spectrum which should be the same anywhere and a reference point.
  • Molnar's research is now a fascinating footnote waiting to be pushed forward by other researchers.
  • For years he had been merely a footnote, known mainly for his early work in phosphene stimulation.
  • It started with a tweak, a modest expansion by three teams and three games that history might have treated as a footnote.
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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