documentary

adjective
doc·​u·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌdä-kyə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce documentary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē, -kyü- \

Definition of documentary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing documentary evidence
2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation (see documentation sense 2) in literature or art broadly : factual, objective a documentary film of the war

documentary

noun
plural documentaries

Definition of documentary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a presentation (such as a film or novel) expressing or dealing with factual events : a documentary presentation

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Other Words from documentary

Adjective

documentarily \ ˌdä-​kyə-​mən-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce documentarily (audio) , -​ˌmen-​ , -​kyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of documentary in a Sentence

Adjective You must present documentary proof of your residence. a documentary film about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor Noun We watched a documentary on the early history of jazz.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective What seems like documentary evidence may be merely a trick of light in air. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Headlands’ Nods to San Francisco Noir," 24 Feb. 2020 Democrats need at least three other Republican votes to be able to pass a resolution allowing for new witnesses and documentary evidence. NBC News, "Here's where the trial stands ahead of Friday votes," 1 Feb. 2020 In the latter part of his life, Mr. Kraft appeared in documentary films and offered public commentary on the space program. Eryn Brown, BostonGlobe.com, "Chris Kraft, godfather of NASA’s Mission Control, dies at 95," 23 July 2019 In December 2018, Cheever stepped back from the weekly demands of the Chow Train to free up more time for writing and documentary film-making on social-justice issues. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Chow Train rides in to provide COVID-19 relief," 8 Apr. 2020 For Quibi, production on some of its dramatic and documentary offerings had already been completed before sets shut down. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Quibi launches in a world paralyzed by coronavirus," 6 Apr. 2020 There will be three kinds of entertainment experiences available on Quibi starting April 6 — movies in chapters, unscripted and documentary series, and daily essentials (a.k.a. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The 15 Best Quibi Shows and Movies That Make Downloading the App Totally Worth It," 3 Apr. 2020 In a last act of desperation, Dial agreed to participate in a documentary film project that would involve a professional investigator. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Adventurer Roman Dial recounts search for his missing son in a fiercely gripping memoir," 15 Feb. 2020 In their role as documentary journalists, filmmakers James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte have time on their side in another way, too. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘McMillion$’ Review: Hamburgling the House," 30 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Weaving archival footage with more recent commentary from McCorvey and the activists who worked with her, the documentary is a fascinating look at the effects of Roe on the woman who instigated it. The Economist, "Pro-choice v pro-life A new documentary looks at how Roe v Wade affected Norma McCorvey," 26 May 2020 Along with family, friends, teammates, rivals and journalists, this two-part documentary by acclaimed director Marina Zenovich offers a fascinating study of a complex character and a memorable chapter in sports history. oregonlive, "Lance Armstrong 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN: Episode 1 time, TV channel, how to watch live stream online with ESPN+ (5/24/2020)," 25 May 2020 June 3 Killing Gunther Lady Bird Spelling the Dream (Netflix Documentary) Through four competitors, this documentary explores how how Indian Americans have ruled Scripps National Spelling Bee since 1999. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Coming to Netflix in June: New 'Queer Eye' and 'Dating Around'; Spike Lee and Will Ferrell," 20 May 2020 Deep layers of pain ripple through this documentary. Mike Hughes, Cincinnati.com, "Here's what you need to watch on TV each day this week: May 17-23," 17 May 2020 There’s all this hip-hop that’s played in this documentary, but Michael Jordan is not a dude that’s about rap at all. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Bomani Jones on Michael Jordan, “The Last Dance,” and Activism in the N.B.A.," 17 May 2020 This documentary about Diana Princess of Wales takes you through her life's highlights, as told by her butler, Paul Burrell. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Best British Shows and Movies to Stream If You Love The Royal Family," 4 May 2020 Rachel, the rebellious child who thought her parents were squares, grew up to be a filmmaker, and Circus of Books is her documentary. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Reagan, Gay Porn, and Family Secrets Star in Circus of Books," 28 Apr. 2020 This 20-minute documentary examines the consequences of poor urban planning and its impact on the environment and people in communities of color. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'documentary.' 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 documentary

Adjective

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1935, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for documentary

Adjective

see document entry 1

Noun

see document entry 1

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Time Traveler for documentary

Time Traveler

The first known use of documentary was in 1802

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Statistics for documentary

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Documentary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/documentary. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for documentary

documentary

adjective
How to pronounce documentary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of documentary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: consisting of documents : written down

documentary

noun

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

: a movie or television program that tells the facts about actual people and events

documentary

noun
doc·​u·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌdä-kyə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce documentary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē \
plural documentaries

Kids Definition of documentary

: a film that tells the facts about something

documentary

adjective
doc·​u·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌdä-kyə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce documentary (audio) \

Legal Definition of documentary

: being, consisting of, or contained in documents documentary evidence

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Comments on documentary

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