A document is a piece of paper that contains official information. Don't you wish you had a document saying that the bank owed you $5 million?

Document comes from the Latin verb meaning "to teach," so a document instructs you with the information it contains. Legal documents such as contracts contain instructions on how the people signing it will act. Passports, driver’s licenses and birth certificates are all official documents. As a verb, document means "to record in detail," or "offer supporting evidence for." If you call a company to complain about something, make sure to document your phone calls by noting the date you called, who you spoke to and what was said.

Definitions of document

n anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks

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letter, missive
a written message addressed to a person or organization
business letter
a letter dealing with business
cover letter, covering letter
a letter sent along with other documents to provide additional information
crank letter
a hostile (usually anonymous) letter
encyclical, encyclical letter
a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world
fan letter
a letter that is a piece of fan mail
personal letter
a letter dealing with personal affairs
form letter
a letter that is printed in multiple copies and mailed to a list of recipients
open letter
a letter of protest; addressed to one person but intended for the general public
chain letter
a letter that is sent successively to several people
a letter from a pastor to the congregation
round robin
a letter signed by a number of people
aerogram, aerogramme, air letter, airmail letter
a letter sent by air mail
a specially long, formal letter
dead letter, dead mail
mail that can neither be delivered nor returned
letter of intent
any letter expressing an intention to take (or forgo) some action
a request (spoken or written) to participate or be present or take part in something
Type of:
a creation that is a visual or tangible rendering of someone or something

n writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)

papers, written document
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Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Philemon
a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to Philemon asking Philemon to forgive the slave for escaping
the oldest Greek version of the Old Testament; said to have been translated from the Hebrew by Jewish scholars at the request of Ptolemy II
The Great Charter
the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215
Declaration of Independence
the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the Colonies from Great Britain
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
Constitution of the United States
the constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently ratified by the original thirteen states
Lateran Treaty
the agreement signed in the Lateran Palace in 1929 by Italy and the Holy See which recognized the Vatican City as a sovereign and independent papal state
North Atlantic Treaty
the treaty signed in 1949 by 12 countries that established NATO
the first treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
the second treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Peace of Westphalia
the peace treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648
Chemical Weapons Convention
a global treaty banning the production or acquisition or stockpiling or transfer or use of chemical weapons
Geneva Convention
an agreement first drawn up in Geneva in 1864 and later revised concerning the treatment of captured and wounded military personnel and civilians in wartime
Treaty of Versailles
the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans
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a document listing the alternatives that is used in voting
a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily (but without higher pay)
a document containing the terms of surrender
certificate, certification, credential, credentials
a document attesting to the truth of certain stated facts
a document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights; includes the articles of incorporation and the certificate of incorporation
commercial document, commercial instrument
a document of or relating to commerce
a written document acknowledging an offense and signed by the guilty party
copyright, right of first publication
a document granting exclusive right to publish and sell literary or musical or artistic work
enclosure, inclosure
something (usually a supporting document) that is enclosed in an envelope with a covering letter
a printed document with spaces in which to write
instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
a document written on papyrus
patent, patent of invention
a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
platform, political platform, political program, program
a document stating the aims and principles of a political party
a formal document giving notice of your intention to resign
declaration, resolution, resolve
a formal expression by a meeting; agreed to by a vote
a document (or organization) from which information is obtained
(patent law) a document drawn up by the applicant for a patent of invention that provides an explicit and detailed description of the nature and use of an invention
a document that serves as evidence of some expenditure
report, study, written report
a written document describing the findings of some individual or group
articles of incorporation
a legal document that creates a corporation; it is filed with a state by the founders of a corporation and is governed by the laws of the state
application form
a form to use when making an application
claim form
a form to use when filing a claim
order form
a form to use when placing an order
a form containing a set of questions; submitted to people to gain statistical information
requisition, requisition form
an official form on which a request in made
tax form
a form to use when paying your taxes
telegraph form
a form to use when sending a telegram
absentee ballot
(election) a ballot that is cast while absent (usually mailed in prior to election day)
certificate of incorporation
state approval of the articles of incorporation of a corporation
bank charter
a charter authorizing the operation of a bank
royal charter
a charter granted by the sovereign (especially in Great Britain)
birth certificate
a copy of the official document giving details of a person's birth
diploma, sheepskin
a document certifying the successful completion of a course of study
commission, military commission
an official document issued by a government and conferring on the recipient the rank of an officer in the armed forces
bill of health
a certificate saying that a departing ship's company is healthy (to be presented at the next port of arrival)
a document certifying an act of registering
teacher's certificate, teaching certificate
a certificate saying that the holder is qualified to teach in the public schools
derivative, derivative instrument
a financial instrument whose value is based on another security
negotiable instrument
an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money
a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country
ship's papers
official papers which a ship is legally required to have; related to ownership, cargo, etc.
a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
abdication, stepping down
the act of abdicating
joint resolution
a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the Chief Executive (or passed over the Chief Executive's veto)
financial statement, statement
a document showing credits and debits
coupon, voucher
a negotiable certificate that can be detached and redeemed as needed
a commercial document showing that the holder is entitled to something (as to ride on public transportation or to enter a public entertainment)
a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
appraisal, estimate, estimation
a document appraising the value of something (as for insurance or taxation)
order, purchase order
a commercial document used to request someone to supply something in return for payment and providing specifications and quantities
power of attorney
a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor's agent
letters of administration
legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named
letters testamentary
a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities
work papers, work permit, working papers
a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
act, enactment
a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity
bill, measure
a statute in draft before it becomes law
brief, legal brief
a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case
testament, will
a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die
probate, probate will
a judicial certificate saying that a will is genuine and conferring on the executors the power to administer the estate
living will
a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness
deed, deed of conveyance, title
a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it
the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another
deed of trust, trust deed
a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note
document effecting a property transfer
income tax return, return, tax return
document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability
licence, license, permit
a legal document giving official permission to do something
letters patent, patent
an official document granting a right or privilege
judgement, judgment, legal opinion, opinion
the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision
acquittance, release
a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation
judicial writ, writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
authorisation, authorization, mandate
a document giving an official instruction or command
source materials
publications from which information is obtained
fountainhead, well, wellspring
an abundant source
written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath
written agreement
a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties
a written report of the results of an analysis of the composition of some substance
case study
a careful study of some social unit (as a corporation or division within a corporation) that attempts to determine what factors led to its success or failure
white book, white paper
a government report; bound in white
blue book
a report published by the British government; bound in blue
green paper
a preliminary report of government proposals that is published in order to stimulate discussion
progress report
a report of work accomplished during a specified time period
position paper
a report that explains or justifies or recommends some particular policy
medical report
a report of the results of a medical examination of a patient
bill of indictment, indictment
a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
a legal document calling someone to court to answer an indictment
certificate, security
a formal declaration that documents a fact of relevance to finance and investment; the holder has a right to receive interest or dividends
Type of:
piece of writing, writing, written material
the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect)

n a written account of ownership or obligation

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letter of credit
a document issued by a bank that guarantees the payment of a customer's draft; substitutes the bank's credit for the customer's credit
certificate of indebtedness, debt instrument, obligation
a written promise to repay a debt
a document or receipt certifying release from an obligation or debt
a document that can serve as legal evidence of a transaction
cash equivalent
a highly liquid debt instrument with maturities of less than three months
CD, certificate of deposit
a debt instrument issued by a bank; usually pays interest
commercial letter of credit
a letter of credit given to a business concern for commercial purposes
traveler's letter of credit, traveller's letter of credit
a letter of credit given to a traveler
note, note of hand, promissory note
a promise to pay a specified amount on demand or at a certain time
balance sheet
a record of the financial situation of an institution on a particular date by listing its assets and the claims against those assets
expense record
a written record of money spent
account book, book, book of account, ledger, leger
a record in which commercial accounts are recorded
a slip of paper included with your pay that records how much money you have earned and how much tax or insurance etc. has been taken out
a book in which names and transactions are listed
bankbook, passbook
a record of deposits and withdrawals and interest held by depositors at certain banks
checkbook, chequebook
a book issued to holders of checking accounts
a debt instrument with a variable interest rate tied to some other interest rate (e.g. the rate paid by T-bills)
bond, bond certificate
a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal
Type of:
something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups

n (computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters

text file
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web page, webpage
a document connected to the World Wide Web and viewable by anyone connected to the internet who has a web browser
ASCII text file
a text file that contains only ASCII characters without special formatting
source code
program instructions written as an ASCII text file; must be translated by a compiler or interpreter or assembler into the object code for a particular computer before execution
home page, homepage
the opening page of a web site
Type of:
computer file
(computer science) a file maintained in computer-readable form

v record in detail

“The parents documented every step of their child's development”
Type of:
enter, put down, record
make a record of; set down in permanent form

v support or supply with references

“Can you document your claims?”
specify the origin of
Type of:
affirm, confirm, corroborate, substantiate, support, sustain
establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts

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