Meaning of “fine print” in the English Dictionary

"fine print" in English

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fine printnoun [ U ]

uk /ˌfaɪn ˈprɪnt/ us /ˌfaɪn ˈprɪnt/ US UK small print

text in a formal agreement that is printed smaller than the rest of the text, sometimes in the hope that it will not be noticed

Examples from literature

  • I read the announcement two or three times, and afterward the fine print below, containing a long list of the luncheon guests with Edith's name proudly in its midst. 
  • Read the lesson assigned for the day in the textbook, including all notes and fine print. 
  • The average high school student will not read the fine print at the bottom of the page, or use a map for the location of places mentioned in the text without special instruction to do so. 

(Definition of “fine print” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fine print" in American English

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fine printnoun [ U ]

/ˈfɑɪn ˈprɪnt/

important information printed in small letters in an agreement or document:

Make sure you examine the fine print before you sign the contract.

(Definition of “fine print” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"the fine print" in Business English

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the fine printnoun [ S ]

uk us UK the small print

the part of a document that is printed in small letters, and that many people do not read, but that may contain details that it is important for you to know about:

If you read the fine print you may find out you have to pay $8,000 to refinance.

(Definition of “the fine print” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)