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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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 On Wednesday, Carmel Police filed a second affidavit seeking to seize a firearm owned by Morrison, according to a copy of the document. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "Former Indianapolis Colts LB Antonio Morrison charged with intimidation, a felony," 16 May 2020 When no one opened the door,detectives used a battering ram to force their way in, police documents say. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Minute by minute: What happened the night Louisville police fatally shot Breonna Taylor," 14 May 2020 The client pitch by an incoming official sparked a complaint a month later from an anonymous State Department official, according to documents obtained by ProPublica. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "Pence’s “Special Envoy” in Foreign Aid Office Sparked an Ethics Complaint Just Weeks After He Started His Job," 13 May 2020 Businesses will be required to provide a copy of the document if police officers arrive with concerns about their operations. Tina Giuliano, azcentral, "Crowded Tempe bar sparks concerns but no citation. Ducey praises police's 'light touch'," 13 May 2020 According to court records, Cantillo was killed during a robbery, but charging documents do not say what was taken from the teen girl. Carol Robinson |, al, "Montgomery teen was stabbed to death 2 weeks before body found, records show," 11 May 2020 The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Trump administration report projects spike in coronavirus deaths: A.M. News Links," 5 May 2020 The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double the current number of about 1,750. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "Trump rarely shows empathy in coronavirus crisis," 4 May 2020 The day prior, eight FedEx Express domestic workers deaths were cited in an internal document obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal and Bergen Record. Colleen Wilson, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 deaths among FedEx workers in Newark leave families, employees questioning company’s response," 2 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition, Beijing is documented to have also donated computers to at least 35 African governments. Fox News, "China uses new and renovated buildings in Africa for spying: report," 21 May 2020 In fact, since the 1980s, researchers have documented cases of humans infecting wildlife, companion animals and livestock with a wide range of pathogens, including viruses, fungi and bacteria. Stacey Mckenna, Scientific American, "Human Viruses Can Jump into Animals, Too—Sowing the Seeds of Future Epidemics," 20 May 2020 The Arizona Republic has documented at least six nursing homes or assisted-living facilities in Arizona with multiple COVID-19 cases and deaths. Arizona Republic, "As Glendale nursing home's deaths rises, it challenges others: Make your COVID-19 cases public," 19 May 2020 Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, IndyStar has documented the heroism of essential workers risking their wellness on the front lines of healthcare facilities, community centers and grocery stores. Jenna Watson, Indianapolis Star, "Portraits from the porch: An ode to the heroism of staying home," 19 May 2020 The story of David and Charisse, who has cerebral palsy and ataxia, is documented in the second season of 9 Months with Courteney Cox, a Facebook Watch series. Ally Mauch,, "Meet David and Charisse, the Couple Navigating Disability and Pregnancy on Courteney Cox Series," 12 May 2020 Similar experiences have been documented in public places like stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Rashawn Ray, The Conversation, "The killing of Ahmaud Arbery highlights the danger of jogging while black," 7 May 2020 The breakthrough was documented in an October 2018 study published in Nature Communications. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "These Levitating 'Fruit Flies' Could Swarm on Mars for Science," 6 May 2020 These details were documented in a judicial review filed last month by Wong and Agnes Chow, an activist and fellow founding member of political party Demosisto who was arrested alongside Wong and also had her phone confiscated. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s mass arrests are giving police crucial intelligence: people’s phones," 6 May 2020

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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Document.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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