mid-15c., "a written comment," from Latin annotationem (nominative annotatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of annotare "to observe, remark," from ad "to" (see ad-) + notare "to mark, note, make a note," from nota "mark, sign, means of recognition" (see note (n.)). Related: Annotations.
Entries linking to annotation
word-forming element expressing direction toward or in addition to, from Latin ad "to, toward" in space or time; "with regard to, in relation to," as a prefix, sometimes merely emphatic, from PIE root *ad- "to, near, at."
Simplified to a- before sc-, sp- and st-; modified to ac- before many consonants and then re-spelled af-, ag-, al-, etc., in conformity with the following consonant (as in affection, aggression). Also compare ap- (1).
In Old French, reduced to a- in all cases (an evolution already underway in Merovingian Latin), but written forms in French were refashioned after Latin in 14c. and English did likewise 15c. in words it had picked up from Old French. In many cases pronunciation followed the shift. Over-correction at the end of the Middle Ages in French and then English "restored" the -d- or a doubled consonant to some words that never had it (accursed, afford). The process went further in England than in France, where the vernacular sometimes resisted the pedantic, resulting in English adjourn, advance, address, advertisement (Modern French ajourner, avancer, adresser, avertissement). In modern word-formation sometimes ad- and ab- are regarded as opposites, but this was not in classical Latin.
c. 1300, "a song, music, melody; instrumental music; a bird-song; a musical note of a definite pitch," from Old French note and directly from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which traditionally has been connected to notus, past participle of noscere "to come to know," but de Vaan reports this is "impossible," and with no attractive alternative explanation, it is of unknown origin.
Meaning "notice, attention" is from early 14c.; that of "reputation, fame" is from late 14c. From late 14c. as "mark, sign, or token by which a thing may be known." From late 14c. as "a sign by which a musical tone is represented to the eye." Meaning "a brief written abstract of facts" is from 1540s; meaning "a short, informal written communication" is from 1590s. From 1550s as "a mark in the margin of a book calling attention to something in the text," hence "a statement subsidiary to the text adding or elucidating something." From 1680s as "a paper acknowledging a debts, etc." In perfumery, "a basic component of a fragrance which gives it its character," by 1905.