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2a : a writing conveying information financial documents historical documents a classified document that was leaked to the media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

Other Words from document


documental \ ˌdä-​kyə-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce document (audio) , -​kyü-​ \ adjective


documentable \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce document (audio) , ˌdä-​kyə-​ˈmen-​ , -​kyü-​ \ adjective
documenter \ ˈdä-​kyə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce document (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The event came two days after the anniversary of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, a document issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 22, 1862 that set a date for the end of slavery. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 26 Sep. 2022 Setting up a weather wallpaper in iOS 16 is incredibly easy too, as Apple explains in a support document. Chris Smith, BGR, 25 Sep. 2022 Jenney worked for Francis as early as 2018, according to the standard operating procedure document. Jonathan O'connell, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2022 Another training document explained what to do if patients expressed surprise that a charitable hospital was pressuring them to pay. Katie Thomas,, 24 Sep. 2022 Cameras can recognize text in the real world, like a recipe or a business card, and easily copy and paste it into a text message, document or note. Cody Godwin, USA TODAY, 24 Sep. 2022 Andrea had found a document online about Lorant in the Central Database of Shoah Victims at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. John Temple, The Atlantic, 24 Sep. 2022 Roberts says that the org wanted to be explicit in the strategy document about the funding challenges and at the same time embrace the opportunities, with digital being a key factor. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 23 Sep. 2022 Among Trump’s advisers, the Jan. 6 investigation from the Justice Department and the Mar-a-Lago document probe are widely viewed as the most wide-ranging and perilous to Trump and his inner circle. Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey And Devlin Barrett, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The images document her time as a young queen, projecting British power in the world in numerous trips abroad. Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2022 The title is matter of fact: Many of Killough’s short essays document the passing of the seasons and the growth of his garden, as seen from his front porch. al, 19 Aug. 2022 In the six episodes available for review, the cast of characters document the fabulous aspects of their lives via Instagram posts, videos and live feeds. Lorraine Alitelevision Critic, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 The enclosed statements document the breadth to which this culture continues to permeate the school system. Globe Staff,, 7 July 2022 The researchers document pricing patterns in the study using a novel dataset of high-frequency prices from large online retailers. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 30 June 2022 Their pictures document the ravages of the coronavirus across different social and economic groups. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 May 2022 Foreign dispatches often document vivid smells, animals, traffic, music. Krithika Varagur, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2022 But the drugs themselves have been evaluated in clinical trials that document their effect on patients in the real world. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Document.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for document


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)


transitive verb
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)

More from Merriam-Webster on document

Nglish: Translation of document for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of document for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about document


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