dos·​sier | \ ˈdȯs-ˌyā, ˈdäs-; ˈdȯ-sē-ˌā, ˈdä-\

Definition of dossier

: a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject the patient's medical dossier Police began compiling a dossier on him.

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Gather together various documents relating to the affairs of a certain individual, sort them into separate folders, label the spine of each folder, and arrange the folders in a box. "Dossier," the French word for such a compendium of spine-labeled folders, was picked up by English speakers in the late 19th century. It comes from "dos," the French word for "back," which is in turn derived from "dorsum," Latin for back. Our word dorsal ("situated on the back"), as in the dorsal fin of a whale, comes from the same Latin source.

Examples of dossier in a Sentence

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Steele’s claims that Trump or his team provided information to the Kremlin has not been proven, along with several additional claims in the dossier. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 By the way, the dossier at the time was classified according to the FBI and DOJ. Fox News, "Carter Page reacts to calls to declassify FISA documents," 15 Sep. 2018 The former private investigator had founded computerized records company CDB Infotek, which condensed public records into digital dossiers, in 1978. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Men are from cyberspace: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 6 Oct. 2018 Comey describes Trump as having been obsessed with the prostitutes portion of the infamous dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, raising it at least four times with the FBI head. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Comey’s memoir: Trump fixates on proving lewd dossier allegations false," 13 Apr. 2018 Papadopoulos appears nowhere in the 16 reports Steele wrote between June and December 2016 that are now known collectively as the Steele dossier. Washington Post, "Sentence buried in GOP memo may undercut Trump efforts to discredit Russia probe," 7 Mar. 2018 Steele turned his field interviews into a series of memos — some containing salacious information — which have become known as the Trump dossier. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Transcript: Fusion GPS looked into possible money laundering between Trump, Russians," 18 Jan. 2018 The dossier was used, in part, to obtain a secret surveillance warrant against a one-time Trump campaign adviser, according to the memo. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Another High-Ranking FBI Official to Depart," 4 Dec. 2018 The basis of the entire writ against Trump, the Fusion GPS–Steele dossier, is now mostly discredited. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "A Year of Achievement," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dossier.' 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 dossier

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dossier

French, bundle of documents labeled on the back, dossier, from dos back, from Latin dorsum — see dorsal entry 2

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for dossier

The first known use of dossier was in 1835

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English Language Learners Definition of dossier

: a group of papers that contain detailed information about someone or something

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dossier

Spanish Central: Translation of dossier

Nglish: Translation of dossier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dossier for Arabic Speakers

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a complex dispute or argument

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