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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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 The documents were provided to the House Intelligence Committee by Parnas, who has been charged with campaign finance violations. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "Ukraine opens investigation into possible surveillance of US ambassador by Trump ally," 16 Jan. 2020 The county delivered the documents and said the request was closed, then demanded another $700 after a reporter asked questions about the spending detailed in them. oregonlive, "Pet travel, flight upgrades, meeting with a conspiracy theorist: How a struggling Oregon county spent federal safety net money," 16 Jan. 2020 The new online service allows users to direct their request through an online form and track its progress as its filled, and also allows others to view requests and the documents provided. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Lakewood opens new online portal for records requests," 15 Jan. 2020 Among the documents is a letter drafted by Giuliani for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declaring that the former New York mayor was acting on Trump’s personal behalf. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "There’s Still So Much We Don’t Know About Trump’s Ukraine Scandal," 15 Jan. 2020 The Do-Not-Resuscitate documents come in two very different forms. Dallas News, "Choosing a natural end," 12 Jan. 2020 At an August hearing, Judge Jennifer Callaghan authorized handwriting experts to assess the documents' validity. Brian Mccollum, ajc, "Aretha Franklin’s son blasts Jennifer Hudson’s ‘Queen of Soul’ movie," 11 Jan. 2020 The company had already provided the documents to lawmakers and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, who are investigating the 737 Max and the process that cleared it to fly. Ryan Beene, Fortune, "‘Designed by Clowns…Supervised by Monkeys:’ Internal Boeing Messages Slam 737 Max," 10 Jan. 2020 The documents were gathered as part of a lawsuit by the state of Kentucky against Purdue over its marketing of OxyContin. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Faced with prescriber fears of OxyContin misuse, Purdue sales reps misleadingly played up drug’s safety, documents show," 9 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a series of Instagram videos posted over the New Year holiday, Griffin teased to and documented the nuptials, which took place in her home early Wednesday morning. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Kathy Griffin is now married, thanks to Lily Tomlin," 2 Jan. 2020 Audrey also documented the scary event on her Instagram Stories and shared a photo of her daughter in a gurney at 1:28 a.m. Georgia Slater,, "Pregnant Audrey Roloff Shows Off Growing Baby Bump at 39 Weeks: 'It's Such a Gift'," 31 Dec. 2019 To impress his family for Christmas, Nick Buchanan of Ohio attempted to make the cake for the first time this Christmas Eve — and documented his efforts on Twitter., "The sponge-like dessert has its roots in a medieval log-burning ceremony practiced by pagans during the winter. The burning log emphasized the comfort of light amid the dark winter and symbolized the eventual return of the sun, come the new year.," 25 Dec. 2019 Occupy had made forceful use of social media video to document its actions and draw the attention of traditional media. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "How the Democratic Party Learned to Wage Class Warfare," 25 Dec. 2019 Sales of the $25 book benefit the Northside Museum Association’s ongoing efforts to document and preserve Northside history. Paul Stephen,, "Updated Northside ISD cookbook: Nearly 900+ recipes of puro San Antonio cooking," 24 Dec. 2019 The physical and mental benefits of meditation are significant and well documented. cleveland, "Beachwood, Grand Valley schools pass resolutions following September racial event at football game; Press Run," 20 Dec. 2019 Fans immediately took to Twitter to document and speculate over the awkward moment. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Kate Middleton Shake Off Prince William's Hand on Her Shoulder," 17 Dec. 2019 At home, the sportswear category was expanding and giving birth to a true American style, one that was documented and examined in Daves’s 1967 book, Ready Made Miracle: the Story of American Fashion for the Millions. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "A New Book, 1950s in Vogue, Celebrates Jessica Daves, the Magazine’s Editor from 1952-1962," 16 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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Document.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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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Comments on document

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


to insert between existing elements

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