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.>
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of dossier
French, bundle of documents labeled on the back, dossier, from dos back, from Latin dorsum —see 2dorsal
First Known Use: 1880
DOSSIER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dossier for English Language Learners
: a group of papers that contain detailed information about someone or something
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