Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb re·cord \ri-ˈkȯrd\

Simple Definition of record

  • : to write (something) down so that it can be used or seen again in the future : to produce a record of (something)

  • : to show a measurement of (something) : to indicate (something)

  • : to store (something, such as sounds, music, images, etc.) on tape or on a disk so that it can be heard or seen later : to produce a recording of (something)

Full Definition of record

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a (1) :  to set down in writing :  furnish written evidence of (2) :  to deposit an authentic official copy of <record a deed> b :  to state for or as if for the record <voted in favor but recorded certain reservations> c (1) :  to register permanently by mechanical means <earthquake shocks recorded by a seismograph> (2) :  indicate, read <the thermometer recorded 90°>

  3. 2 :  to give evidence of

  4. 3 :  to cause (as sound, visual images, or data) to be registered on something (as a disc or magnetic tape) in reproducible form

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to record something

re·cord·able play \-ˈkȯr-də-bəl\ adjective

Examples of record

  1. Be sure to record all your business expenditures.

  2. There are similar events all throughout recorded history.

  3. The thermometer recorded 40 degrees below zero.

  4. A seismograph is a device that measures and records the intensity of earthquakes.

  5. Please record the television program for me.

  6. He recorded the birthday party with his new video camera.

  7. He just recorded his latest album.

  8. The show is recorded in front of a live audience.

  9. The band spent all night recording.

Origin of record

Middle English, literally, to recall, from Anglo-French recorder, from Latin recordari, from re- + cord-, cor heart — more at heart

First Known Use: 14th century



noun rec·ord \ˈre-kərd also -ˌkȯrd\

Definition of record

  1. 1 :  the state or fact of being recorded

  2. 2 :  something that records: as a :  something that recalls or relates past events b :  an official document that records the acts of a public body or officer c :  an authentic official copy of a document deposited with a legally designated officer d :  the official copy of the papers used in a law case

  3. 3 a (1) :  a body of known or recorded facts about something or someone especially with reference to a particular sphere of activity that often forms a discernible pattern <a good academic record> <a liberal voting record> (2) :  a collection of related items of information (as in a database) treated as a unit b (1) :  an attested top performance (2) :  an unsurpassed statistic

  4. 4 :  something on which sound or visual images have been recorded; specifically :  a disc with a spiral groove carrying recorded sound for phonograph reproduction

for the record
  1. :  for public knowledge :  on the record

off the record
  1. :  not for publication <spoke off the record> <remarks that were off the record>

of record
  1. 1 :  being documented or attested <a partner of record in several firms>

  2. 2 :  being authoritative or sanctioned <a newspaper of record>

on record
  1. 1 :  in the position of having publicly declared oneself <went on record as opposed to higher taxes>

  2. 2 :  being known, published, or documented <the judge's opinion is on record>

on the record
  1. :  for publication

14th Century

First Known Use of record

14th century



adjective re·cord \same as 2\

Simple Definition of record

  • : best or most remarkable among other similar things

Full Definition of record

  1. :  of, relating to, or being one that is extraordinary among or surpasses others of its kind


First Known Use of record




noun re·cord \ri-ˈkȯrd\

Definition of record

  1. :  a function of an electronic device that causes it to record


First Known Use of record


Other Audio Recording Terms

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up record? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.