doc·​u·​ment | \ ˈdä-kyə-mənt How to pronounce document (audio) , -kyü- \

Definition of document

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 law
a archaic : proof, evidence
b : an original or official paper relied on as the basis, proof, or support of something
c : something (such as a photograph or a recording) that serves as evidence or proof
2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media
b : a material substance (such as a coin or stone) having on it a representation of thoughts by means of some conventional mark or symbol
3 : a computer file containing information input by a computer user and usually created with an application (such as a spreadsheet or word processor) create a new document


doc·​u·​ment | \ ˈdä-kyə-ˌment How to pronounce document (audio) \
documented; documenting; documents

Definition of document (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish documentary evidence of documenting their claims documenting gorillas in their natural habitat
2 : to furnish with documents
3a : to provide with factual or substantial support for statements made or a hypothesis proposed charges that were well documented document your claim especially : to equip with exact references (see reference entry 1 sense 3b) to authoritative supporting information (as by means of footnotes) failed to adequately document your sources
b(1) : to construct or produce (something, such as a movie or novel) with authentic situations or events
(2) : to portray realistically documents the challenges of being a single parent
4 nautical : to furnish (a ship) with ship's papers

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Other Words from document


documental \ ˌdä-​kyə-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce documental (audio) , -​kyü-​ \ adjective


documentable \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce documentable (audio) , ˌdä-​kyə-​ˈmen-​ , -​kyü-​ \ adjective
documenter \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce documenter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for document

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of document in a Sentence

Noun It is important to keep all of your financial documents in a safe place. An important classified document has been leaked to the media. creating a new document on your computer I lost the document when the hard drive crashed. Verb Her study was the first to document this type of behavior in gorillas. He wrote a book documenting their struggle. Can you document the claims you're making? The charges are well documented.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to the charging documents, on three occasions between Nov. 19 and Dec. 2, 2019, Lopez was seen on video recorded on the bus assaulting the 13-year-old girl. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Galena Park school bus attendant accused of assaulting disabled girl, released on $100 bond," 12 Feb. 2020 According to health department documents, the pest control company was aware of the issue and performed a treatment early Jan. 22. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Diners found cockroaches crawling on the buffet at Lovers Lane Sushi and Seafood Buffet in Franklin," 12 Feb. 2020 Two Ohio State University Buckeye football players are facing charges of kidnapping and raping a woman, according to court documents filed Tuesday in Franklin County Municipal Court in Ohio. William Mansell, ABC News, "2 Ohio State football players charged with rape, kidnapping," 12 Feb. 2020 Unlike most beneficiary- driven documents, a spousal beneficiary designation is not automatically voided by divorce. Dallas News, "Transfer on death deeds in Texas: A disaster for many," 9 Feb. 2020 In New York City, where private placement is unusually common, the city spent almost $800 million in the 2016-17 school year on private school tuition for students with disabilities, city budget documents show. USA Today, "Two boys with the same disability tried to get help. The rich student got it quickly. The poor student did not.," 9 Feb. 2020 According to documents, Spaulding was injured twice after falling inside his residence. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Court date for former priest accused of sex abuse delayed after claims of illness," 7 Feb. 2020 Court documents state Little shattered the front door of the Quick Stop Convenience Store on Pedretti Road in Delhi Township on Jan. 27. Madeline Mitchell,, "Police: Man admits to breaking into 9 businesses in less than 2 months," 7 Feb. 2020 While Nazi-hunting groups were active in the '70s, Hunters doesn’t document a singular occurrence. Sarah Midkiff,, "The True Story Behind Jordan Peele & Amazon’s 1970s Conspiracy Thriller Hunters," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And health hazards from exposure to secondhand smoke have in fact been conclusively documented. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future We can harness peer pressure to uphold social values," 7 Feb. 2020 Scientists working with amateur skywatchers in Scandinavia realized that a new kind of aurora has been documented, a shimmering apparition that looks like glowing dunes in the sky. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, "A Rad Snowboard Park, a Throw-Pillow Throwdown, and More Things to See and Do in the West," 3 Feb. 2020 Tinder has even documented it on their blog, Swipe Life. Erika W. Smith,, "Curving: Another Terrible Dating Trend," 29 Jan. 2020 Both those locations are relatively close to geopolitical conflict zones where other interruptions of GPS have been documented. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The long ocean voyage that helped find the flaws in GPS," 24 Jan. 2020 Its use has been documented to reduce deaths from drunken-driving incidents. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "DUI Tests May Be Thrown Out over Bad Breathalyzer Maintenance," 19 Jan. 2020 This story has persisted since Lucien Turner, writing about Alaska natural history in 1886, first documented it. Anchorage Daily News, "The Alaska blackfish is in a class of its own," 28 Dec. 2019 This makeshift filter has been documented to screen out E. coli and larger microorganisms. Tim Macwelch, Popular Science, "Eight ways an evergreen tree could save your life," 26 Dec. 2019 Ryan Phillippe has also been hit with criticism for traveling to the country and heavily documenting it on social media. Eric Todisco,, "Armie Hammer, Ryan Phillippe and More Celebrities Criticized for Trips to Saudi Arabia," 23 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of document


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for document

Noun and Verb

Middle English, precept, teaching, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin documentum official paper, from Latin, lesson, proof, from docēre to teach — more at docile

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Time Traveler for document

Time Traveler

The first known use of document was in the 15th century

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Statistics for document

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Document.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for document


How to pronounce document (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of document

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official paper that gives information about something or that is used as proof of something
: a computer file that contains text that you have written


How to pronounce document (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of document (Entry 2 of 2)

: to create a record of (something) through writing, film, photography, etc.
: to prove (something) by using usually written evidence


doc·​u·​ment | \ ˈdä-kyə-mənt How to pronounce document (audio) \

Kids Definition of document

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a written or printed paper that gives information about or proof of something Your birth certificate is a legal document.
2 : a computer file containing data entered by a user


documented; documenting

Kids Definition of document (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to record (as on paper or in film) the details about Scientists documented the medical study.
2 : to prove through usually written records Can you document what you are claiming?


doc·​u·​ment | \ ˈdä-kyə-mənt How to pronounce document (audio) \

Legal Definition of document

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a writing (as a deed or lease) conveying information — see also instrument
2a : something (as a writing, photograph, or recording) that may be used as evidence
b : an official paper (as a license) relied on as the basis, proof, or support of something (as a right or privilege)
doc·​u·​ment | \ ˈdä-kyə-ˌment How to pronounce document (audio) \

Legal Definition of document (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : to furnish documentary evidence of
b : to provide with exact references to authoritative supporting information
2 : to furnish (as a ship) with documents (as ship's papers)

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