If you keep a daily––or at least somewhat regular––written account of your life, you are keeping a diary or journal. A journal is also a periodical, such as a scientific journal or a scholarly journal.

Journal comes from an Old French word which meant daily (jour being the French word for day, as in soup du jour, or “soup of the day”). You can keep a journal in an old notebook, on the computer, or on scraps of paper, but if you keep it in a book made especially for that purpose, then that physical book (whether you've written in it or not) is called a journal.

Definitions of journal
  1. noun
    a daily written record of (usually personal) experiences and observations
    synonyms: diary
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    blog, web log
    a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies
    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)
  2. noun
    a ledger in which transactions have been recorded as they occurred
    synonyms: daybook
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    type of:
    account book, book, book of account, ledger, leger
    a record in which commercial accounts are recorded
  3. noun
    a record book as a physical object
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    daybook, ledger
    an accounting journal as a physical object
    a personal journal (as a physical object)
    type of:
    book, volume
    physical objects consisting of a number of pages bound together
  4. noun
    a periodical dedicated to a particular subject
    “he reads the medical journals
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    reports of the work of a society or learned body etc
    type of:
    a publication that appears at fixed intervals
  5. noun
    the part of the axle contained by a bearing
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    type of:
    a shaft on which a wheel rotates
Word Family