This says the antonym of 'footnote' is 'Header'. But I want more specific and relevant word. From the same source, The meaning of footnote is given as "The note at bottom of document".

Similarly, what is the proper word for the "note at top/head of document". Header is more generic. It does not refer to "notes".

(A word that means something like "Header-Note"?)

  • There is the term endnote, which refers to notes placed at the end of a chapter. But I also tend to think that footnote has a generic quality about it that can, in context, mean any sub-note to the main text. It is certainly a word which is used metaphorically too - he became a mere footnote to history
    – WS2
    Sep 22, 2016 at 7:46
  • 1
    In TeX, the relevant commands are \footline and \headline (the latter gives a note at the top; typically, a running head); so maybe headline is what you want, although its more usual meaning is not what you want. Sep 22, 2016 at 7:50
  • @DavidHandelman Thanks. But yes, Headline nowadays refers to "Breaking News" kinda newspaper report headings than a simple note. Any other suggestion which fits well in the context? Sep 22, 2016 at 8:38
  • "handbook", since "hand" is opposed to "foot", and "book" is opposed to "note".
    – Greg Lee
    Sep 22, 2016 at 9:46
  • The note at the top is generally called a "preface" or perhaps an "introduction", though sometimes a "key", listing terms used in the document, might appear at the head. You really need to explain to us what concept you need to express.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 22, 2016 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


This is most commonly known as a Preface

A preface is a small section of text that can either be at the beginning of a document or of a chapter.

It is generally a shorter text than an Introduction which would normally be found at the start of a document rather than at the start of a chapter.

There are alternatives:
In scientific papers, this would be known as an Abstract. A brief summary of the aim of the paper.
In legal documents, this is often simply called a Headnote which matches your mention of a Footnote.

  • Oh there is actually a word Headnote! I never realized that. Thanks. Accepting this as answer since the word 'Headnote' fits well in context to my requirement. Sep 22, 2016 at 9:58

An epigraph is a note at the start of a piece of writing, more often found in books than in documents, but that's the closest thing I can think of that might be an opposite of footer.

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    – Helmar
    Sep 22, 2016 at 10:17

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