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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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

Other Words from document


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


documentable \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce document (audio) , ˌdä-​kyə-​ˈmen-​ , -​kyü-​ \ adjective
documenter \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce document (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The man then forced the victim to unlock his phone and withdrew a total of $6,000 from separate payment transaction apps, according to the court document. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 16 May 2022 According to a document provided to EW by the Nottingham Crown Court clerk, 37-year-old Phythian — who was tried under the name Zara Marke — was convicted of 14 counts, with her 59-year-old husband convicted of 18. Joey Nolfi,, 11 May 2022 The incident happened in late August, according to a document from the Santa Ana Police Department. Justin Raystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Guinea's electoral violence in 2020 killed at least 12 people in the capital and 50 people in other parts of the country, according to the document. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 The action hasn’t been completed, according to the same document. Chris Smith, BGR, 5 May 2022 Welsh was still alive when someone who lived in the apartment complex heard the shots and came outside, according to the document. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 The Department of Labor found 112 meal break violations between Jan. 1 and July 31, 2021, and was fined $11,200 in total for those violations, according to the document. Talia Soglin, Chicago Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Covington police issued a warrant for the arrest of Danielle Brantley on April 21, according to the document obtained by Fox 19. The Enquirer, 25 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Western news media often document nonprofit activities in soundbites and segments intimating the rush-to-help efforts made across the globe. Rod Berger, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Though research is still developing, several recent studies document links between cryptocurrency trading and addiction. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Sponsors must document their own income and assets, as well as the income and assets of the migrants and families being sponsored. Chris Cameron, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Rissolo will document the shrines and altars with a 3D scanning system developed at UCSD, and a handheld LiDAR device. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 So many depressing studies document the fact that racial resentment drives populism. Joan C. Williams, The New Republic, 19 Apr. 2022 Ukraine must be victorious, and any instrument of peace should document this fact. Paula Dobriansky And Richard Levine, WSJ, 15 Apr. 2022 These document her increasing quest for knowledge, to devour the world whole. Design Art B., Longreads, 7 Apr. 2022 Based on a true story, the crime drama will document the life of novelist Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), who was accused of murdering his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette) after she was found dead in their home. Andrea Towers,, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Document.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for document


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)


transitive verb
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)

More from Merriam-Webster on document

Nglish: Translation of document for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of document for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about document


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