Definition of archive in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɑːkʌɪv/


(usually archives)
1A collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people: [as modifier]: a section of archive film
More example sentences
  • Many public libraries also have local history sections containing archives relating to local musical activities and famous musicians.
  • Shot by pioneering film-makers Mitchell & Kenyon, the discovery of this archive collection will rewrite British film history.
  • Through personal archives and institutions we compiled about 500 diaries and a few thousand postcards and letters.
history, information, evidence;
documentation, paperwork
formal muniments
1.1The place where historical documents or records are kept: they were allowed to study in the archives
More example sentences
  • Plans for a ‘joined up service’, with libraries, archives, museums and galleries all together under one roof, have been launched by East Riding Council.
  • Col Babbitt and Mrs Zemp were invited to visit Rishworth School and yesterday saw the original Sowerby Parish Registers at the archives in the Central Library.
  • The new gallery, with its associated study room and archives, is a £10m joint venture.
1.2A complete record of the data in part or all of a computer system, stored on an infrequently used medium.
Example sentences
  • Optical media is also perfect for storing archives of critical corporate data, such as financials or personnel records.
  • At the same time the PRO will outline its digital archive system which will store electronic government records.
  • Second, many ILE faculty members were interested in building data archives with data sets from many different government agencies.


[with object]
1Place or store (something) in an archive.
Example sentences
  • The challenges involved in displaying and archiving information on the web are huge and the move to multimedia presentation is adding to the complexity of the task.
  • At present, the collection is archived but not available to the web-browser.
  • How do you archive these materials for later reference as well as maximize the material's life expectancy?
file, log, catalogue, pigeonhole;
store, record, register, chronicle, cache;
document, put on record, post
1.1 Computing Transfer (data) to a less frequently used storage medium such as magnetic tape: the entire directory will be archived
More example sentences
  • Tape remains a strong contender for long term data archiving and off-site storage.
  • Tape is the overwhelming computer medium of choice for archiving.
  • You manage your e-mail by archiving it on cheaper storage devices.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'place where records are kept'): from French archives (plural), from Latin archiva, archia, from Greek arkheia 'public records', from arkhē 'government'. The verb dates from the late 19th century.

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