views updated May 23 2018

doc·u·ment • n. / ˈdäkyəmənt/ a piece of written, printed, or electronic matter that provides information or evidence or that serves as an official record.• v. / ˈdäkyəˌment/ [tr.] record (something) in written, photographic, or other form: the photographer spent years documenting the lives of miners. ∎  support or accompany with documentation.DERIVATIVES: doc·u·ment·a·ble / ˌdäkyəˈmentəbəl/ adj.doc·u·ment·al / ˌdäkyəˈmentl/ adj.doc·u·ment·er / -ˌmentər/ n.


views updated May 21 2018


A written or printed instrument that conveys information.

The term document generally refers to a particular writing or instrument that has a bearing upon specific transactions. A deed, a marriage license, and a record of account are all considered to be documents.

When a document is signed and the signature is authentic, the law accurately expresses the state of mind of the individual who signed it. A false document is one of which a material portion is purported to have been made or authorized by someone who did not do so. It can also be a document that is falsely dated or which has allegedly been made by or on behalf of someone who did not in fact exist.

An ancient document is a writing presumed by the court to be genuine due to its antiquity, because it has been produced from a reliable source where it would be logically found, and because it has been carefully kept.

A private document is any instrument executed by a private citizen. A public document is one that is or should legally be readily available for inspection by the public, as a document issued by Congress or a governmental department.

Judicial documents include inquisitions, depositions, examinations, and affidavits.


Ancient Writing.


views updated Jun 27 2018

document †instruction; †evidence XV; something written, etc. furnishing evidence XVIII. — (O)F. — L. documentum lesson, instance, specimen, in medL. written instrument, official paper, f. docēre teach; see DOCTOR and -MENT.
Hence as vb. †instruct XVII; furnish with documents (as evidence) XVIII. Whence documentation XVIII.


views updated May 18 2018

document A piece of text considered to be a single item and usually stored as a file. The document might be a letter, a report, a chapter, etc. It will usually have a unique name, and may have other attributes attached to it, such as a brief description of what it contains and who composed it.