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

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 Inquiries about the Steele dossier would have been pouring into the agency. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Why the CIA Needs Its Own Horowitz Report," 29 June 2018 As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley blew the lid off the FBI’s feckless relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Mark Warner’s Enablers," 24 Jan. 2019 In sum, the collective efforts have led to a whole dossier of troublesome findings in Wansink’s work. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A top Cornell food researcher has had 13 studies retracted. That’s a lot.," 19 Sep. 2018 According to a White House statement released late today, the records also include FBI interviews with senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr all matters to the Russia case because of his connection to the Trump dossier. Fox News, "Tucker: Brett Kavanaugh and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party," 18 Sep. 2018 Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson sent it to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday to request documents related to the Steele dossier and the media’s awareness of it last January. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Anatomy of a Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory," 22 May 2018 No evidence has emerged that Erovinkin was a Steele source, and in fact Special Counsel Mueller is believed to be investigating a different death that is possibly related to the dossier. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "It’s Primary Day in Texas. Here are six storylines to watch.," 6 Mar. 2018 Special Counsel Mueller’s various indictments of Manafort have also strengthened aspects of the dossier. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "A Blockbuster New Yorker Story Sheds Light on Christopher Steele, and, Yes, the 'Pee Tape'," 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

23 Mar 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 shady place in a garden or forest

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