Definition of annotate in US English:



[with object]
  • Add notes to (a text or diagram) giving explanation or comment.

    ‘documentation should be annotated with explanatory notes’
    • ‘I read it closely and annotated it extensively, as is my habit in reading generally.’
    • ‘It prints Lock's sonnets in old-spelling and very lightly annotated texts.’
    • ‘Brown annotates every deliberate inaccuracy in the book's notes.’
    • ‘The text has been annotated and lightly edited to bring spellings up to date.’
    • ‘He compiled, wrote, updated and annotated the inventory and signed every page relating to Denny's charge in 1542.’
    • ‘Not only do I underscore; I use brackets, carets, and braces; I annotate all four margins and I copiously turn down the edges (both top and bottom) of certain especially memorable pages.’
    • ‘You can also import a photograph and annotate it with your own handwriting or add text with Graffiti.’
    • ‘It is a significantly extended, critically judicious, helpfully annotated edition of an indispensable oeuvre.’
    • ‘For Japanese speakers who use English as a second language, it is helpful to annotate this text in Japanese so that images may be recalled by Japanese keywords.’
    • ‘Notes are annotated on levels of certainty with predictions and risks and possible causes for changes to numbers.’
    • ‘This style is matched by regular sidebars in which Anderson expands on and annotates concepts and formulas that appear in the text.’
    • ‘The quotation we gave above suggests that Li was given the task of correcting and annotating mathematical texts.’
    • ‘To annotate means to add explanation to information - extra ‘commentary information’ in terms of the Online Dictionary of Computing.’
    • ‘You can't read the texts online but some extremely helpful person has been busy annotating the material with descriptions which makes a search or even a ramble through the material a pleasure.’
    • ‘I used to watch my dad as he placed our family photos in albums like this, neatly annotating them as he went along.’
    • ‘Charles M. Robinson has the massive task of editing and annotating the diaries.’
    • ‘We were annotating our map as we went along, noting the date we passed a place or visited a ruin.’
    • ‘Much of it consists of more or less richly annotated lists of the sorts of things one sees and experiences.’
    • ‘But, while I can annotate them, I can't copy any text at all into my notes.’
    • ‘Someone asked Linda why nearly all the songs in her book were annotated with the date she learned the song and who taught it to her.’
    comment on, add footnotes to, add notes to, gloss
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin annotat- ‘marked’, from the verb annotare, from ad- ‘to’ + nota ‘a mark’.