documentary

adjective
doc·u·men·ta·ry | \ -ˈmen-tə-rē , -ˈmen-trē \

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 \-mən-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˌmen- \ 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

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 Robinson ruled last month that Kansas cannot require documentary proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, finding such laws are unconstitutional. Roxana Hegeman, The Seattle Times, "Kansas official follows order, registers thousands to vote," 9 July 2018 Here, he is represented by cybernetic drawings, documentary photographs and a video that shows him making an inflatable plastic sculpture with his students. New York Times, "10 Galleries to Visit Now on the Upper East Side," 26 Apr. 2018 In an era of shrinking news budgets, alternative-truths and fervor over fake news, the films, part of a documentary renaissance, are vital journalism in a multiplatform, streaming world. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 That won’t be Ocasio-Cortez’s only documentary appearance. Rebecca Keegan, HWD, "Documentaries Just Might Solve Everything," 29 June 2018 Good films always raise compelling questions, whether the format is fiction or documentary fact. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Three Identical Strangers’ Review: A Family Reunion Like No Other," 28 June 2018 The Vandal team’s documentary ethos naturally extends off-script, too. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How American Vandal expertly crafted a doc (that just happened to be fiction)," 23 June 2018 Along for the journey will be documentary filmmaker Aleshia Mueller. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Blind cycling team to ride across country," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Big Chill' This occasional series from the folks behind Fort Worth's Lone Star Film Festival specializes in documentaries, foreign films and Hollywood classics like this one. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "River rockers, kid actors and peaches make the top 10 list of things to do in DFW," 11 July 2018 The website allows users to navigate based on time period or theme to watch clips of Burns' more than two dozen documentaries on themes ranging from the Civil War and Vietnam to baseball, jazz and the Brooklyn Bridge. Owen Ullmann, USA TODAY, "Ken Burns' news website uses visual history lesson to bridge bitter political divide," 3 July 2018 If all goes as planned, that footage would be used for a documentary on youth sports, which could spin off into a reality series. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Could San Marcos become a center of film production for San Diego?," 30 June 2018 Vreeland’s newest documentary, which opens at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on June 29, artfully tells the story of a flawed man determined to create beauty in a flawed world. Spencer Whaley, Town & Country, "The Secret Life of Cecil Beaton, the Royal Family's Favorite Photographer," 28 June 2018 The creative team had an obsession with true crime documentaries, obviously. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How American Vandal expertly crafted a doc (that just happened to be fiction)," 23 June 2018 Uptown had the distinct honor of being featured in an hour-long documentary on Houston Public Media TV 8/PBS in June 2016. Houston Chronicle, "Post Oak Boulevard: A Texas Legacy," 20 June 2018 North Korean state television aired a 42-minute long documentary on Thursday that offered a different view of Kim Jong Un’s meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore. Adam Taylor, BostonGlobe.com, "Documentary shows President Trump saluting North Korean general," 16 June 2018 North Korean state television aired a 42-minute long documentary on Thursday that offered a different view of Kim Jong Un's meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore. Adam Taylor, ajc, "Documentary shows Trump saluting North Korean general," 14 June 2018

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

5 Sep 2018

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 , -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 \

Legal Definition of documentary 

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

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