ar·​chive | \ ˈär-ˌkīv \

Definition of archive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place in which public records or historical materials (such as documents) are preserved an archive of historical manuscripts a film archive also : the material preserved often used in plural reading through the archives
2 : a repository or collection especially of information


archived; archiving

Definition of archive (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to file or collect in or as if in an archive archive documents archived tissue samples

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for archive

Synonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of archive in a Sentence


The organization was devoted to cataloging and archiving printed materials on the labor movement. She archived her e-mail messages in a folder on her hard drive. a collection of archived articles
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ars' 20 years of archives, for instance, are freely available on our website. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Civil unrest: How a blockchain-based journalism startup bumbled its launch," 23 Dec. 2018 The flower is pure Tiffany archive, from the period when Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the founder, was a leader of the Art Nouveau movement with his stained glass lamps. Reed Krakoff, Town & Country, "Tiffany & Co. Wants to Change the Rules of How to Wear a Diamond," 27 Nov. 2018 But no: The social network has spent almost $12.5 million in the past six months to promote its own election integrity products, including the ad archive itself, which shows users who paid for what political ads. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How platforms are driving users to misinformation about mail bombs," 27 Oct. 2018 The social network has spent almost $12.5 million in the past six months to promote its own election integrity products, including the ad archive itself, which shows users who paid for what political ads. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s top political ad spender is ... Facebook," 23 Oct. 2018 That is one of the reasons why Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, who served as president from 1999 to 2007, thrice vetoed the Latvian parliament’s decision to open the archives, once in 2004 and twice in 2006. Gordon F. Sander, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why a nearly 30-year-old list of names is roiling modern Latvia," 12 July 2018 To discover a new map every day from the National Geographic archive, follow @NatGeoMaps on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Betsy Mason, National Geographic, "Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online," 28 June 2018 Stewart was presented earlier in the interview with a listing from The Chronicle archives, showing his name on a Punch Line bill. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jon Stewart dropped by S.F., but it felt like he’s been here the whole time," 6 June 2018 According to the Post, using personal emails for government business might count as a violation of the Presidential Records Act — an act that mandates all White House communication and records be preserved as part of a permanent archive. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Ivanka Trump Used Her Personal Email Account for Government Business," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The most important discoveries are then circulated quickly to experts in Wales for their opinion, while the new photographs are carefully organized and permanently archived. Fox News, "Drought reveals 'ghost gardens,' ancient cemeteries, lost cities across British Isles," 2 Oct. 2018 For the fashion-obsessed, there is Amazon’s Echo Look camera, which is a wall-mountable, hands-free, full-body-capturing camera for comparing, archiving, and categorizing outfits (a real life Clueless closet, anyone?). Madeline Swanson, Vogue, "15 Gifts for Every Tech-Obsessed Person in Your Life," 28 Nov. 2018 The coroner’s written notes are archived because the body will soon be returned to the earth. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "To Rebuild a Syrian City, Men First Dig Up and Rebury the Dead," 26 Oct. 2018 Only the tapes that had been recorded between 1971 and 1974 were archived at the National Space Science Data Center, according to a press release describing the new study. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Astronauts’ Footprints May Have Warmed the Moon," 14 June 2018 Many of Mock’s dances are archived at San Francisco’s Museum of Performance and Design. Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Dances of Ed Mock’ biopic gives new life to choreographer’s work," 14 June 2018 The letters that result, dating back to 1979, are archived on the department website. Michael Hiltzik,, "Inside the Trump administration's assault on protections for people with preexisting medical conditions," 11 June 2018 Hundreds of thousands of testimonies have been archived. Melanie Burney,, "Camden County veterans project preserves history for future generations," 26 May 2018 At Paisley, on a rack to be archived, are a smattering of Versace dress shirts, a Balmain jacket, and a mini-caftan top from Tory Burch. Sally Singer, Vogue, "Inside Prince’s Incredible Fashion Archive, the Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Closet of All Time," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of archive


1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1831, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for archive

Noun and Verb

French & Latin; French, from Latin archivum, from Greek archeion government house (in plural, official documents), from archē rule, government — more at arch-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about archive

Dictionary Entries near archive








Statistics for archive

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for archive

The first known use of archive was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for archive



English Language Learners Definition of archive

: to collect and store materials (such as recordings, documents, or computer files) so that they can be found and used when they are needed


ar·​chive | \ ˈär-ˌkīv \

Kids Definition of archive

: a place in which public records or historical papers are saved

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on archive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with archive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for archive

Spanish Central: Translation of archive

Nglish: Translation of archive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of archive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on archive

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


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!