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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Keland Hill confronted his wife about not letting him see their three young children, but then recognized one of the people with her and ran away, according to the documents. oregonlive, "“She was telling us she was in danger.” Arrests, thwarted gun purchase presaged Vancouver man’s fatal stalking of wife," 4 Dec. 2019 Instead, those men wrote the abominable document that’s still the foundation of Alabama law today. Kyle Whitmire, al, "This is our history: How white supremacy still thrives in Alabama," 4 Dec. 2019 Schulz declined to comment on the contents of the affidavit but acknowledged the document’s accuracy. Julia Fair,, "'This is someone abusing power.' In Northern Kentucky, a judge finds herself under scrutiny over Snapchat and seduction," 4 Dec. 2019 CNN Business could not verify the authenticity of that document, but an attorney representing Li confirmed details along with the compensation. Steven Jiang, CNN, "Huawei is facing a backlash in China when it can least afford it," 3 Dec. 2019 The House intelligence panel voted later Tuesday, in a party-line tally, to send the document to the Judiciary Committee. Mary Clare Jalonick, Twin Cities, "In 300 pages, House lays out evidence for Trump impeachment," 3 Dec. 2019 With Daughter in Car The documents also stated that investigators learned from an unknown drug dealer that Andrew allegedly purchased $400 to $500 worth of drugs per week and bought $100 worth of cocaine the afternoon Vanessa was murdered. Ashley Boucher,, "Massachusetts Man Who Murdered His Elementary-School-Teacher Wife Sentenced to Life in Prison," 3 Dec. 2019 The organization accessed a memorandum of agreement document between the state and Boston Dynamics through a public records request. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Has Joined a Bomb Squad," 26 Nov. 2019 Witnesses in the last two weeks have been invited in to see draft sections of that document. Arkansas Online, "FBI lawyer suspected of altering Russia probe document," 23 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Only one human fatality has been documented during such accidents in South Carolina. USA TODAY, "Eel-powered tree, skateboard safety, red light on herring: News from around our 50 states," 5 Dec. 2019 In Massachusetts, American holly has been documented growing wild as far north as Essex County on the North Shore, Piantedosi said, and is typically confined to somewhat sandy, acidic soils along the coastal plain., "From Christmas decorations to classic holiday songs like “Deck The Halls,” holly is a traditional part of the Christmas season. It’s pointy-edged, dark green leaves and bright red berries are commonly used to make festive looking wreaths that adorn doorways and windows this time of year.," 5 Dec. 2019 Its recent difficulties with litter have been well documented. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Dump of a City," 5 Dec. 2019 Such examinations have been documented in at least 20 countries. Washington Post, "Rapper T.I.’s remarks spark NY bill to end virginity tests," 4 Dec. 2019 The climb was documented in the new movie The Nose Speed Record, which is part of the Reel Rock 14 Film Tour. Lindsay Kimble,, "Watch Free Solo Climber Alex Honnold Scale El Capitan Again — at a Record Pace — in New Doc Clip," 4 Dec. 2019 The wide variation in how physicians provide care for the same medical condition has been documented for decades. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin doctors could reduce health care costs while improving quality of care, study says," 4 Dec. 2019 Each year, these agencies collaborate on a document – released in June or July – naming all the water bodies where fish have been documented showing high levels of contamination. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Are Alabama fish safe to eat? Here’s how the state decides," 2 Dec. 2019 Satterfield’s calm demeanor has been well documented this season. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "How Scott Satterfield is keeping Louisville football focused ahead of Governor's Cup," 29 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about document

Time Traveler for document

Time Traveler

The first known use of document was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for document

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Document.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on document

What made you want to look up document? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!