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

The affair the two of them had was brief but Marianne’s impact was key to encouraging Broomfield to attempt documentary film-making and the two remained friends. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Review: ‘Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love’ reveals the love that inspired a legend," 3 July 2019 State and county programs often rely on a pool of documentary stamp tax money that Florida legislators have raided for years for other purposes. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "New down-payment grants aimed at helping Orlando-area renters become home buyers," 21 June 2019 Where Buchheim and Petersen took an agnostic, documentary approach to the all-male crews aboard their boats, this new Das Boot frames the U-boat war as a form of toxic masculinity. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, "Hulu’s Das Boot Gets Lost at Sea," 19 June 2019 When Women Ruled the World, documentary film JANE, a vintage National Geographic T-shirt, Eagle Creek’s Adventure Sling Pack, and a 1-year subscription to National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic, "National Geographic's Inspirational Women Sweeps," 12 June 2019 Completely revamping his diet taught McCoy so much that he was inspired to hire a documentary team to follow him through the upcoming year. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Gerald McCoy joins a new NFL team for 1st time in a decade. But he says he’s ready.," 4 June 2019 Souls is being touted as that increasingly common beast, the fiction-documentary hybrid, but on this evidence Toucedo would do better to stick to the documentary side of things. Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Thirty Souls' ('Trinta Lumes'): Film Review | Berlin 2018," 21 Feb. 2018 At the time, his team was promoting its documentary film, called Coexist, about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Dawnland Documentary Shows How the U.S. Government Took Indigenous Children From Their Homes — and Placed Them With White Families," 5 Nov. 2018 Ford traveled to Indonesia to better understand the challenges of deforestation, taking viewers along with him in Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously documentary television series. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Jones honored by Indianapolis Zoo: Harrison Ford wins award for wildlife conservation," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

How is writing a book similar to or different from writing a documentary? Elisabeth Egan, Glamour, "Erin Lee Carr Released Two Documentaries and a Book in the Past Six Months. Here's How She Did It," 9 July 2019 Abigail Disney is a documentary filmmaker, philanthropist and activist. Gloria Steinem, Time, "Trump Has Been Unrealistic About His Talks With North Korea. Here's Why We Shouldn't Dismiss the Meetings Altogether," 8 July 2019 Carr challenges that version in a documentary that asks viewers to consider whether the judge — and the appeals court that upheld Carter’s conviction — got it right. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "New Documentary Aims to Get Inside Teen's Head When She Urged Boyfriend's Suicide With Texts," 8 July 2019 Thirty years later, Harris took up his paddle again, to make a documentary. CBS News, "A trip down the mighty Mississippi," 7 July 2019 In a documentary on that game by NFL Films, Manning credited Lorenzen for preparing him for that moment. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Funeral services announced for New York Giants, UK, Highlands legend Jared Lorenzen," 7 July 2019 The Last Czars is technically a documentary with lush reenactments. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Dramatic True Story Of Russia's Last Dynasty, The Romanovs," 5 July 2019 In 2014, a BBC documentary used state-of-the-art technology to perform a ‘virtual autopsy’ on King Tutankhamun’s 3,000-year-old remains. Fox News, "King Tut bust that Egypt claims was 'stolen' sells for $6 million," 5 July 2019 Panero’s family — his two older sons also poets — enjoyed a period of celebrity long after Panero’s death when a 1976 documentary by Jaime Chávarri placed them back in the spotlight. Rigoberto González, latimes.com, "Spanish literature animates the ghosts of its embattled history," 5 July 2019

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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Statistics for documentary

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for documentary

The first known use of documentary was in 1802

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More Definitions for documentary

documentary

adjective

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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