pa·per·work | \ ˈpā-pər-ˌwərk \

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

At the time of closing, you’ll be required to sign all of the paperwork, which will be required to complete the purchase of this property. Dottie Herman, Time, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying Your First Home," 3 July 2018 Documenting and recording paperwork, managing services like passport renewals, and processing patent applications are practices that could all be dramatically improved with robotic automation. Will Hurd, Fortune, "Washington Needs to Adopt AI Soon or We’ll Lose Millions," 12 June 2018 In Gallon's 20s — around the time when the couple was killed — he was convicted of weapons charges, theft, drunken driving, resisting arrest, and hunting abalone (an edible mollusk) without the necessary paperwork, the Chronicle reports. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Beach campsite murder went unsolved 13 years. Now a killer faces charges, Calif. deputies say | The Sacramento Bee," 16 May 2018 And yet the typical doctor’s day is filled with paperwork, box checking, and hurried patient encounters that don’t merit or challenge their expertise. Jonathan Bush, STAT, "Giving doctors the ‘capability’ they need to care for patients can fight burnout," 8 May 2018 If you are buried under piles of paperwork, have stacks of old files or just need a safe, secure way to get rid of unwanted documents, then stop by and drop them off. 'sam' Boyer/special To,, "Now it's possible to show what we talk about: Whit & Whimsey," 4 May 2018 Jackson was accused of providing prescriptions without paperwork, often being drunk on the job and wrecking a government vehicle while intoxicated, according to a review of his colleagues by Democrats. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Ronny Jackson picked by Trump to lead the VA: What to know about the president's physician," 26 Apr. 2018 Atkinson signed the lobbying disclosure paperwork, dated April 13. Bethany Barnes,, "Major League Baseball backers offer Portland Public Schools $80M for headquarters," 19 Apr. 2018 Switching a patient from a 280mg or 420mg per day dose down to 140mg will require paperwork, filling a new prescription, and having patients return unused pills—a process that can drag out for weeks. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doctors tried to lower $148K cancer drug cost; makers triple price of pill," 19 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for paperwork

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for paperwork

The first known use of paperwork was in 1899

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More Definitions for paperwork



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 \

Kids Definition of paperwork

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

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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).


to make amends

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