pa·​per·​work | \ ˈpā-pər-ˌwərk How to pronounce paperwork (audio) \

Definition of paperwork

: routine clerical or record-keeping work often incidental to a more important task

Examples of paperwork in a Sentence

She failed to file the paperwork on time. The lawyer had us fill in the paperwork for the mortgage.
Recent Examples on the Web Taking steps to file paperwork is the most serious signal yet that the former New York mayor and billionaire is seriously planning for a White House run. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Bloomberg taking steps to enter 2020 Democratic presidential race," 7 Nov. 2019 Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, changes residency to Florida Trump, who was born and has lived his entire life in New York City, filed paperwork to change his permanent residence from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "The explosive Maria wildfire, Trump kisses New York goodbye, and "The Irishman" arrives: The Morning Rundown," 1 Nov. 2019 On Tuesday, Papadopoulos, 32, filed paperwork to run as a Republican in California’s 25th District and is expected to formally announce his candidacy later this week, Fox News reported., "Michelle Obama targets ‘white flight’ in Chicago," 31 Oct. 2019 Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Robert Mueller probe, filed paperwork Tuesday to run, as well. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Rep. Katie Hill's last day in Congress will be Friday following resignation amid ethics investigation," 31 Oct. 2019 George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide who played a key role in the FBI’s Russia probe, filed paperwork Tuesday to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Democrat Katie Hill, several news outlets are reporting. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Chicago teachers nearing ‘monumental deal’? | Report calls for overhaul of Chicago homicide investigations | Will the Obamas return to Chicago for good?," 30 Oct. 2019 And SpaceX recently filed paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites, SpaceNews reported yesterday (Oct. 15). Mike Wall, Scientific American, "SpaceX’s Starlink Constellation Could Swell by 30,000 More Satellites," 17 Oct. 2019 Carrington places case file paperwork in his backpack and walks the few blocks back to his office after the hearings. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: When it comes to caseload and pay, public defenders are still behind the 8-ball," 6 Oct. 2019 If the board wants the measure to be on the March 2020 ballot, the district would need to file paperwork by December, giving it a short timeline to communicate with the community and get feedback. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "PUSD Board agrees to explore bond measure for 2020," 18 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paperwork.' 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 paperwork

1899, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for paperwork

Time Traveler

The first known use of paperwork was in 1899

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Statistics for paperwork

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Paperwork.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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How to pronounce paperwork (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of paperwork

: routine work that involves writing letters, reports, etc.
: the official documents that are needed for something to happen or be done


pa·​per·​work | \ ˈpā-pər-ˌwərk How to pronounce paperwork (audio) \

Kids Definition of paperwork

: the documents that are a requirement for or a routine part of something

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More from Merriam-Webster on paperwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paperwork

Spanish Central: Translation of paperwork

Nglish: Translation of paperwork for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paperwork for Arabic Speakers

Comments on paperwork

What made you want to look up paperwork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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