a. A written or printed paper that bears the original, official, or legal form of something and can be used to furnish decisive evidence or information.
b. Something, such as a recording or a photograph, that can be used to furnish evidence or information.
c. A writing that contains information.
d. Computers A piece of work created with an application, as with a word processor.
e. Computers A computer file that is not an executable file and contains data for use by applications.
2. Something, especially a material substance such as a coin bearing a revealing symbol or mark, that serves as proof or evidence.
tr.v. (-mĕnt′) doc·u·ment·ed, doc·u·ment·ing, doc·u·ments
1. To furnish with a document or documents.
2. To methodically record the details of: "I had thought long and logically about ... how to document the patterns of dolphin behavior" (Diana Reiss).
3. To support (an assertion or claim, for example) with evidence or decisive information.
4. To support (statements in a book, for example) with written references or citations; annotate.
[Middle English, precept, from Old French, from Latin documentum, example, proof, from docēre, to teach; see dek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
doc′u·menta·ble (-mĕntə-bəl) adj.
doc′u·mental (-mĕntl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.