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

The one with the unverified dossier, the bulk of information as the Grassley- Graham memo said? Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Rudy Giuliani’s revealing interview with Sean Hannity, annotated," 3 May 2018 Ohr’s wife Nellie worked at Fusion as a Russian specialist and did research that formed part of the dossier. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "DOJ official Bruce Ohr grilled over Trump dossier, Steele ties," 2 Oct. 2018 But the intelligence community has made clear that portions of the dossier are borne out by their own investigation. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Donald Trump said 11 false things in just 5 tweets Sunday morning," 20 May 2018 Facebook builds shadow profiles, dossiers of information on people who are not a part of its network. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Cyber Saturday—The Case For and Against #DeleteFacebook," 24 Mar. 2018 And so the investigation was triggered entirely separately from the Steele dossier. Time Staff, Time, "Read the Full Transcript From James Comey's ABC Interview," 17 Apr. 2018 Was information from the Steele dossier used in FISA applications? Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Clamor over the Nunes ‘FISA Abuse’ Memo," 25 Jan. 2018 And what of the Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign? Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The Russians and the Dossier," 25 Apr. 2019 This week's feud began when Trump complained on Twitter that the former veteran shared the Steele dossier (which alleged there were links between Trump and Russian officials) before the 2016 election, though this has not been proven. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Fans Are Fired Up After Meghan McCain and Ana Navarro-Cárdenas's Trump Comments," 22 Mar. 2019

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

15 Jun 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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More from Merriam-Webster on dossier

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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to take the place or position of

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