dos·​sier | \ ˈdȯs-ˌyā How to pronounce dossier (audio) , 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

Recent Examples on the Web

Republicans have argued that the dossier was inappropriately used by the Justice Department before the election as investigators obtained a warrant to put one of Trump’s campaign advisers under surveillance. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "Head of firm behind Trump dossier won’t talk to House panel," 16 Oct. 2018 Congressional Republicans argue that the dossier was improperly used to help secure a surveillance warrant for then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Hearing in limbo as Kavanaugh's accuser sets her terms; Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen meets with Mueller," 21 Sep. 2018 Two weeks later, the entire dossier was published on the South African Communist Party’s Web site. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, "The Reputation-Laundering Firm That Ruined Its Own Reputation," 25 May 2018 And secondly, even the Nunes memo acknowledged that the Russia investigation began months before the Steele dossier was used in a FISA application. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s increasingly desperate, tortured claims about the Russia probe," 19 May 2018 The president raised the subject again a week later, after the dossier had been made public, according to the book. CBS News, "Comey: "I don't know" whether Trump "was with prostitutes peeing on each other"," 13 Apr. 2018 The investigation began months before the FBI saw the dossier — and the FBI already had a copy by the time McCain turned it in. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "Democrats ask for Mueller files; GOP exclaims ‘Move on’," 25 Mar. 2019 At an open House Intelligence Committee hearing on March 20, 2017, Mr. Schiff stated as fact numerous crazy accusations from the infamous Steele dossier—giving them early currency and credence. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Schiffting to Phase 2 of Collusion," 21 Feb. 2019 Much of the Steele dossier remains unverified and some of its claims have been revealed to be inaccurate or worse. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Did Russia block Mitt Romney from becoming secretary of state?," 5 Mar. 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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Statistics for dossier

Last Updated

20 Apr 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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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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