Word of the Day : December 6, 2018


noun DOSS-yay

What It Means

: a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject


The agency maintains extensive dossiers on all of its employees and contractors.

"The council overwhelmingly supported a resolution to set up an 'independent mechanism' that will collect and analyze evidence of the 'most serious international crimes' and prepare dossiers that will make it easier for prosecutors to bring cases to trial in national, regional or international courts." — Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2018

Did You Know?

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 19th century. It comes from dos, the French word for "back." The verb endorse (which originally meant "to write on the back of") and the rare adjective addorsed ("set or turned back to back," a term primarily used in heraldry) are also derived, via the Anglo-French endosser and French adosser respectively, from dos. The French dos has its origins in the Latin dorsum, a word which also gave English the adjective dorsal ("situated on the back"), as in "the dorsal fin of a whale."

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create the name for a flat case for carrying documents or drawings: IPOOOFLRT.



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