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 documentary (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 Morganna Magee is a documentary photographer from Australia. New York Times, "How Long Will This Child Live?," 29 Apr. 2021 During the ceremony, history was made in terms of accessibility with an American Sign Language interpreter present in the media room while Oscar winner Marlee Matlin presented trophies for the documentary categories in ASL. Dino-ray Ramos, Forbes, "Oscars Diversity: Historic Wins Leap Over Low Bar Set By Hollywood," 26 Apr. 2021 Sesame Street had its genesis in a problem: A civil-rights activist and documentary producer named Joan Ganz Cooney worried about the development of inner-city children, particularly black kids. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Cheerful Look inside Sesame Street," 24 Apr. 2021 There's one other major factor at play: More than any other, the documentary branch has fulfilled the Academy's promise to diversify and globalize its membership. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "How Best Documentary became the Oscars' most unpredictable category," 23 Apr. 2021 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Warner’s Judas and the Black Messiah, Amazon’s One Night in Miami…, Hulu’s United States vs. Billie Holiday, and the documentary Time. Jonathan W. Gray, The New Republic, "Bringing the Black Radical Tradition to the Oscars," 21 Apr. 2021 The show should also be viewed as a model for an entire genre of documentary storytelling. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Philly D.A. Is the Second Coming of The Wire, in Docuseries Form," 19 Apr. 2021 This story is part of a collaboration between ProPublica, Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program and FRONTLINE that includes the documentary American Insurrection, airing 10 p.m. Eastern on April 13 on PBS. oregonlive, "How an active duty airman tried to start a civil war," 17 Apr. 2021 This story is part of a collaboration between ProPublica, Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program and FRONTLINE that includes the documentary American Insurrection, airing 10 p.m. Eastern on April 13 on PBS. oregonlive, "How an active duty airman tried to start a civil war," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the guise of a documentary on van touring, the film also digs into what drove these artists to pursue a career in music. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, "Dave Grohl’s Van-Touring Doc ‘What Drives Us’: 11 Things We Learned," 30 Apr. 2021 Apparently no liberal review of the documentary has spared Tabrizi these scoldings for his presumption. Matthew Scully, National Review, "Into the Deep with Seaspiracy," 28 Apr. 2021 Bryant passing on the traditions of the Black funeral home to another generation inspired the title of the documentary directed by filmmaker Nathan Clarke. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Documentary premiering on KLRN explores legacy of San Antonio's Black funeral homes," 27 Apr. 2021 The heart of the documentary comes into focus as his own personal quest to find Bigfoot — or simply, the truth of a story — reveals a passion for hunting down the monsters of the world. Washington Post, "‘Sasquatch’: 3 takeaways from the new true-crime series on the folkloric beast," 20 Apr. 2021 Sondheim, nobly bearing his 91 years, makes an appearance at the end of the documentary with Weidman to reflect on the peculiarly American nature of this story. Los Angeles Times, "Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman’s ‘Assassins’ gathers a killer roster of performers," 16 Apr. 2021 The street dogs of Istanbul are the stars of this documentary. Tim Campbell, Star Tribune, "10 best things our critics are watching this week," 15 Apr. 2021 Filmed in Baltimore, Mighty Mark served as music producer of the documentary. Billy Jean Louis, baltimoresun.com, "A documentary on Baltimore club music is coming to Netflix this week. We talked to director TT the Artist ahead of its debut.," 13 Apr. 2021 The family wants public apologies from Netflix and the producers of the documentary, as well as monetary damages. NBC News, "Parent involved in college admissions scandal sues Netflix over documentary," 9 Apr. 2021

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Documentary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/documentary. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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