Definition of footnote in US English:



  • 1An ancillary piece of information printed at the bottom of a page.

    • ‘Marginal notes, footnotes, and end notes and headings to a section are not to be taken to be part of the Act.’
    • ‘While focusing on the big policy picture, links get into the specific policy details, including footnotes at the bottom of pages.’
    • ‘The body of the footnote is then presented elsewhere, typically at the bottom of the page.’
    • ‘Notes to articles have been made more convenient by being moved from endnotes to footnotes which appear at the bottom of each page.’
    • ‘The book could have been compressed by running footnotes at the bottom of the page, as is standard practice.’
    • ‘Matthew skipped down to the bottom of the page and read the footnote.’
    • ‘An information page, footnotes, and pop-up messages provide instructions on using this spreadsheet.’
    • ‘Various traditions, now usually printed in footnotes in modern translations, were added, some early in the second century.’
    • ‘As well as the author, the publishers are also to be commended in allowing a liberal selection of maps and illustrations as well as footnotes at the bottom of each page.’
    • ‘Your Honours will see section 61 set out at page 412 at the bottom in the footnote on the page.’
    • ‘Providing parenthetical information or explanatory footnotes on those not discussed in the introductions might have been more helpful than relegating the information to the index.’
    • ‘The commentary has footnotes throughout and the endnotes provide useful references for further study.’
    • ‘If the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flow make up the core of a company's financial information, then the footnotes are the fine print that explains this core.’
    • ‘In addition, the book contains 122 pages of footnotes, 67 pages of bibliography, and a detailed index.’
    • ‘I read down through the date and times of the ceremony and then noticed a footnote at the bottom, in all lowercase letters: coat and tie unnecessary; flip flops encouraged.’
    • ‘The bottom footnote provides general information about certain nutrients.’
    • ‘Please use endnotes rather than footnotes for documentation and ensure there are no embedded notes or figures within the document.’
    • ‘Demonstrate, with less or greater subtlety, that you've actually done this reading via hundreds of endnotes, footnotes, and superscripts.’
    • ‘Explaining industry practice in small print and footnotes is not prominent enough.’
    • ‘Could I invite your Honours to note footnote 2 on page 414 where there is a comment on the dissenting judgment and it is said about four or five lines into it.’
    note, marginal note, annotation, comment, gloss
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    1. 1.1 A thing that is additional or less important.
      ‘this incident seemed destined to become a mere footnote in history’
      • ‘This is not some minor dispute over a footnote to history but rather raises the possibility of one of the most egregious misrepresentations by a US Administration.’
      • ‘Down here, the Greek, Byzantine, Ottoman, Russian, Mongol, Mughal Empires are footnotes in our history books.’
      • ‘And with the exception of some of the larger states, New York, California, and Texas come to mind, no matter how effective or ineffective a governor is, he or she tends to be a footnote in history.’
      • ‘But there is more to this than a mere footnote in American film history.’
      • ‘The US stock market shut for a few days, which was considered extraordinary at the time, but constitutes a mere footnote now.’
      • ‘These were, however, rare enough to provide a mere footnote in the monument's history.’
      • ‘While still an important footnote in the careers of many of today's talented, well known black artists, it just won't make room for the truly funny elements to shine through.’
      • ‘Their names will probably be a mere footnote in the annals of Polish air force history, but they're fully aware of the key roles they played in assisting their NATO counterparts to take a giant leap forward.’
      • ‘In that absence, he has remained silent, and this squalid pair will go down as mere footnotes of our collective bleak history.’
      • ‘The people involved weren't just footnotes in history either.’
      • ‘So remember the big picture and don't get too distracted by what only tomorrow will become history's footnotes.’
      • ‘High-minded political failures end up as the footnotes of history.’
      • ‘I'd held all the top civil service jobs, but here was an opportunity to play a political role, and there was an odd chance that we would make a success of it, in which case I would have a footnote in India's history.’
      • ‘After a few years, ‘Fat Jack’ reduced almost every record in golf to mere footnotes as he swept all before him.’
      • ‘I was a footnote to motion-picture history at best.’
      • ‘Only time will tell whether the Commonwealth is a mere footnote to history, or the beginning of a new chapter.’
      • ‘In any case, Villa fell quickly from the canon of modern American poetry and now seems a mere footnote to its history.’
      • ‘Our temporary political masters may denigrate his ideals and smash the organisations for which he worked, but men of his calibre will be honoured when his denigrators are mere footnotes in the sordid history of these times.’
      • ‘And all turning out in such a way, quite likely, as to consign another batch of politicians to the status of footnotes in history.’
      • ‘No matter, these people will be just the sad footnotes of history.’


[with object]
  • Add a footnote or footnotes to (a piece of writing).

    • ‘Parkman was a meticulous researcher, and diligently footnoted virtually every fact and passage.’
    • ‘The Italian text is heavily footnoted to give suitable references to and nuances of Machiavelli's dialogue and there is a most useful ‘Vocabulary’ which is designed to help those with only a small grasp of Italian to translate the play.’
    • ‘You have footnoted the provision in the transitional clause of the schedule which shows that the cause of action remains, is that correct?’
    • ‘Should ‘Lamia’ be footnoted for clarification or should it simply be substituted with ‘Dragon,’ which is not quite the same thing at all.’
    • ‘Your Honour, the comment that I made was based upon Spinosa v The Republican County Central Committee of San Francisco which my learned junior tells me was footnoted in Annetts and that is the source of it.’
    • ‘‘They are preaching a sermon, not footnoting a term paper,’ Mr. Warren writes in an email.’
    • ‘Sixty percent reported that they have copied a few sentences of material without footnoting them.’
    • ‘Afterwards, I asked the three of them if they'd be willing to take part in an e-mail interview on the subject of footnoting the news.’
    • ‘Primary and secondary sources are footnoted through the text and the bibliography lists books, unpublished manuscripts and papers, and newspapers.’
    • ‘Volume 1 contains 337 biographies, and each entry is footnoted.’
    • ‘But in a phone interview, Troy says that under current academic standards it would be ‘unacceptable’ if a student did what Simon did as a part of his coursework without footnoting the book or putting it in his bibliography.’
    • ‘The editors have meticulously footnoted this fascinating correspondence, delving deeply into the family's papers and genealogy.’
    • ‘Some jury members expressed uneasiness with the fact that Jimmy put his name on the paper and footnoted nothing.’
    • ‘When footnoting a reference to the website can we give the name of the website and then have the full link to it in the bibliography or do we need the link in the footnote?’
    • ‘Any interview with him, I suspect, almost needs to be footnoted.’
    • ‘The Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission, which repeatedly footnoted the Minneapolis hearings, substantially adopted the civil rights approach in its approach, findings, and recommendations.’
    • ‘To that end, Forum Replies are approximately 3000 words long, and should be lightly footnoted and sourced in comparison to traditional Articles.’
    • ‘Interview sources should also be footnoted, clearly indicating in the bibliography the person interviewed, his/her position, and date of interview.’
    • ‘Baker has footnoted the Archer book with prolific assiduity (over 140 notes in each of two chapters).’
    • ‘A year ago, Johnson, you footnoted a comment in a 600-page report about acquisition costs.’
    explain, give an explanation of, interpret, explicate, elucidate
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