noun jour·nal \ ˈjər-nᵊl \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of journal

1 a :a daily newspaper usually used in titles
  • The Wall Street Journal
b :a periodical dealing especially with matters of current interest
  • an academic journal
often used in titles
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association
2 a :a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use :diary
b :a record of current transactions; especially :a book of original entry in double-entry bookkeeping
c :an account of day-to-day events
d :a record of transactions kept by a deliberative or legislative body
e :log 3
f :log 4
3 :the part of a rotating shaft, axle, roll, or spindle that turns in a bearing

Examples of journal in a Sentence

  1. I've been keeping a journal for several years.

  2. She records her dreams in a journal.

Recent Examples of journal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'journal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of journal

Middle English, service book containing the day hours, from Anglo-French jurnal, from jurnal, adjective, daily, from Latin diurnalis, from diurnus of the day, from dies day — more at deity

Financial Definition of JOURNAL


What It Is

In the finance world, journal is short for journal entry. It is also short for The Wall Street Journal.

How It Works

Journal entries are records of individual financial transactions in a company's accounting system. Due to the standards of double-entry bookkeeping, journal entries typically involve a debit to one or more accounts and a credit to one or more accounts in the same amount. For example, the journal entry for the purchase of a $20,000 fleet vehicle might reflect a $20,000 increase in assets and a corresponding $20,000 decrease in cash.

Why It Matters

Journal entries are the heart and soul of accounting. Accountants must know how to make them correctly so that a company's financial transactions are recorded accurately and in turn convey correct information to shareholders, analysts and other stakeholders. When the books don't balance or there is an error in the numbers, accountants often go back to the journal entries to find out what went wrong. In this way, journal entries are a sort of diary for companies.

JOURNAL Defined for Kids


noun jour·nal \ ˈjər-nᵊl \

Definition of journal for Students

1 :a brief record (as in a diary) of daily happenings
2 :a magazine that reports on things of special interest to a particular group
3 :a daily newspaper

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