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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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 The gesture was done with Byrd’s knowledge,’’ the document read., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 1 Jan. 2020 The court document then states that Michael Egwuagu stripped naked and dumped his bloody clothes in a neighbor's garbage can. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Texas man's confession to killing pregnant sister is caught on doorbell camera, police say," 1 Jan. 2020 The 28-page document has Barnett’s name at the top. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Republican mayor in Rochester Hills pushes for bipartisan change," 30 Dec. 2019 The latest wolf recovery plan, a revision of the original 1982 document, was issued in November 2017. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Competing interests leave Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts at a crossroads," 30 Dec. 2019 Gilbert filed the separation documents in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday. CBS News, "Actress Sara Gilbert files for legal separation from her wife, musician Linda Perry," 30 Dec. 2019 Lee wrote, according to documents provided by the city. oregonlive, "Chaos in Newberg: Race discrimination lawsuit upends city government," 21 Dec. 2019 Others travel in smaller trucks under tarps, aboard freight trains, on passenger buses or even airplanes with false documents provided by smugglers. Washington Post, "What crackdown? Migrant smuggling business adapts, thrives," 19 Dec. 2019 Citing documents provided to ethics investigators, Colorado Politics reported Fiat Chrysler covered the cost of ground transportation and gift bags, according to the automaker. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "John Hickenlooper says lingering ethics probe won’t taint his Senate candidacy," 19 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a series of Instagram videos posted over the New Year holiday, Griffin teased to and documented the nuptials, which took place in her home early Wednesday morning. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Kathy Griffin is now married, thanks to Lily Tomlin," 2 Jan. 2020 Audrey also documented the scary event on her Instagram Stories and shared a photo of her daughter in a gurney at 1:28 a.m. Georgia Slater,, "Pregnant Audrey Roloff Shows Off Growing Baby Bump at 39 Weeks: 'It's Such a Gift'," 31 Dec. 2019 To impress his family for Christmas, Nick Buchanan of Ohio attempted to make the cake for the first time this Christmas Eve — and documented his efforts on Twitter., "The sponge-like dessert has its roots in a medieval log-burning ceremony practiced by pagans during the winter. The burning log emphasized the comfort of light amid the dark winter and symbolized the eventual return of the sun, come the new year.," 25 Dec. 2019 Occupy had made forceful use of social media video to document its actions and draw the attention of traditional media. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "How the Democratic Party Learned to Wage Class Warfare," 25 Dec. 2019 Sales of the $25 book benefit the Northside Museum Association’s ongoing efforts to document and preserve Northside history. Paul Stephen,, "Updated Northside ISD cookbook: Nearly 900+ recipes of puro San Antonio cooking," 24 Dec. 2019 The physical and mental benefits of meditation are significant and well documented. cleveland, "Beachwood, Grand Valley schools pass resolutions following September racial event at football game; Press Run," 20 Dec. 2019 Fans immediately took to Twitter to document and speculate over the awkward moment. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Kate Middleton Shake Off Prince William's Hand on Her Shoulder," 17 Dec. 2019 At home, the sportswear category was expanding and giving birth to a true American style, one that was documented and examined in Daves’s 1967 book, Ready Made Miracle: the Story of American Fashion for the Millions. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "A New Book, 1950s in Vogue, Celebrates Jessica Daves, the Magazine’s Editor from 1952-1962," 16 Dec. 2019

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

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Document.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 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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