from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
  • adjective Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
  • noun A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Educational; instructional.
  • Pertaining to or derived from documents; consisting in documents.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pertaining to written evidence; contained or certified in writing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of, related to, or based on documents.
  • adjective which serves to document (record and:or illustrate) a subject.
  • adjective of a film presented objectively without the insertion of fictional matter.
  • noun A film, TV program, publication etc. which presents a social, political, scientific or historical subject in a factual or informative manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation
  • adjective relating to or consisting of or derived from documents
  • noun a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French adjective and (hence) noun documentaire, from document, from Latin documentum.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word documentary.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.