Definition of record in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ˈrekərd/
1A thing constituting a piece of evidence about the past, especially an account of an act or occurrence kept in writing or some other permanent form: identification was made through dental records a record of meter readings
More example sentences
  • Landmark dates in the history of radio will be illustrated by archive recordings and written records of the time.
  • The earliest historical records contain evidence of capital punishment.
  • Travellers in York are compiling a book about their lives which should provide a permanent record of their community's history.
account(s), document(s), documentation, data, file(s), dossier(s), evidence, report(s);
annals, archive(s), chronicle(s);
minutes, transactions, proceedings, transcript(s);
certificate(s), instrument(s), deed(s);
register, log, logbook
trademark daytimer
Law  muniment(s)
1.1 (also court record) Law An official report of the proceedings and judgment in a court.
Example sentences
  • In the absence of the file, Ms. Sava arranged for a search of the court record.
  • On Friday, the official judgment of his conviction was entered into the court record.
  • Evidence from pages 46, 47 and 48 of the transcript of the examination of Luke Brock was read into the court record.
1.2 Computing A number of related items of information that are handled as a unit.
Example sentences
  • As our project partners continued to add data and records to the database, the number of users accessing the database alone increased rapidly.
  • Their efforts frequently result in thousands of database records and numerous Web pages with many interactive features.
  • Basically they're bogus entities (such as database records, files, spreadsheet entries) that trigger an alarm when accessed.
2The sum of the past achievements or actions of a person or organization; a person or thing’s previous conduct or performance: the safety record at the airport the team preserved its unbeaten home record
More example sentences
  • He said the defendant had an exemplary record of lifetime achievement both academically and in hobbies and pursuits he has been involved in.
  • They fly their Hawk 100 jets at hundreds of miles an hour as low as 300 ft, yet their safety record is exemplary.
  • The steroid scandal is embarrassing baseball and its fans, leaving some players' achievements and their records very much in doubt.
previous conduct/performance, track record, history, life history, reputation
2.1 short for criminal record.
Example sentences
  • A higher proportion of them were under arrest or had previous records.
  • In passing sentence the judge said that the appellant had an appalling record.
  • Whenever you are arrested and booked, you officially have a record.
criminal record, police record
informal rap sheet
3(Especially in sports) the best performance or most remarkable event of its kind that has been officially measured and noted: he held the world record for over a decade he managed to beat the record [as modifier]: record profits
More example sentences
  • He established new records in both these events.
  • He broke both the British and European records in this event.
  • Thompson has held world records in four different events, but she hasn't won an individual gold.
best performance, highest achievement;
best time, fastest time;
world record
4A thin plastic disk carrying recorded sound, especially music, in grooves on each surface, for reproduction by a record player.
Example sentences
  • Consider the difference between distributing CDs and distributing cassette tapes or vinyl records.
  • However, the truth is that over time, records and cassette tapes deteriorate and the quality of sound diminishes.
  • On a plus side, it could also play records, cassette tapes, CDs, and even tune in to radio stations.
album, vinyl
dated phonograph record, LP, single, forty-five, seventy-eight
4.1A piece or collection of music reproduced on a phonographic record or on another medium, such as compact disc: my favorite record [as modifier]: a record company
More example sentences
  • Too many contemporary film-makers prefer to use collections of pop records for theme music.
  • I'm more used to the first approach, mainly because I think that's how you make the best records of classical music.
  • Yes, this includes your favorite music, the records you cannot live or breathe without.


Pronunciation: /rəˈkôrd/
[with object]
1Set down in writing or some other permanent form for later reference, especially officially: they were asked to keep a diary and record everything they ate or drank (as adjective recorded) levels of recorded crime
More example sentences
  • They also had the women keep a daily diary in which they recorded everything they ate.
  • Use a food diary to record everything you eat and drink on a daily basis.
  • The statistics show the region has the second highest level of overall crime recorded by the police.
write down, put in writing, take down, note, make a note of, jot down, put down on paper;
document, put on record, enter, register, log;
list, catalog
1.1State or express publicly or officially; make an official record of: the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death
More example sentences
  • The coroner records a verdict of death by misadventure.
  • Bradford's Deputy Coroner Mark Hinchcliffe, recording his verdict yesterday, concluded no doctors were to blame.
  • After hearing the results of the post-mortem carried out by consultant pathologist Dr William Keeley, the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
1.2(Of an instrument or observer) show or register (a measurement or result): the temperature was the lowest recorded since 1926
More example sentences
  • These waves are recorded by instruments all over the world, allowing scientists to accurately measure distant quakes.
  • Just as not all species were recorded by both methods, not all species were recorded by both observers.
  • Numerous irregularities were recorded by observers in these areas during the elections.
indicate, register, show, display
1.3Achieve (a certain score or result): they recorded their first win of the season
More example sentences
  • Ireland's Derek Burnett made the best possible start when he recorded the perfect score in the first round.
  • Competing in his first ever octathlon, he recorded a fine score of 4,019 points for an individual seventh place.
  • Duffey came third last year in a valiant attempt to topple De Beer, who recorded a hat-trick of victories.
achieve, accomplish, chalk up, notch up
2Convert (sound or a performance) into permanent form for later reproduction: they were recording a guitar recital
More example sentences
  • I have been trying to find a good freeware program to record my audio tapes using my computer.
  • Others have the inputs for recording audio from external devices like cassette players.
  • The debate was being recorded on audio tape and chaired by one of my housemates.
make a record/recording of, tape, tape-record;
video-record, videotape, video
2.1Produce (a piece or collection of music or a program) by recording a live performance: they go into the studio next week to record their debut album
More example sentences
  • Suddenly you have the ability to listen to almost any piece of music ever recorded whenever you like. This is a million times better than just having a few CDs.
  • Tzadik has done a typically great job of recognizing and recording an undervalued piece of music.
  • Lots of the music on the compilation was recorded specifically for the album, and all of it will be new material.



for the record

So that the true facts are recorded or known: for the record, I have never been to the apartment
More example sentences
  • You probably have no further need of my comments, but here, for the record, are a few thoughts as they occurred to me while I was reading.
  • I wish to state, for the record, that I have yet to buy a tomato this year.
  • Oh, and just for the record, there is no such thing as a British accent.

a matter of record

A thing that is established as a fact through being officially recorded.
Example sentences
  • The facts are a matter of record and any interested party can go to the library and pull out the newspapers of the day and they can acquaint themselves with those facts.
  • It's now a matter of record that the foundation had in fact been massively under-funded.
  • As a matter of record, New York City spends a higher portion of its budget on instruction and associated costs within the schools themselves than any of the other 100 largest districts in the nation.

off the record

Not made as an official or attributable statement.
Example sentences
  • He confided in us off the record that Teddy Kennedy had declined to run against Nixon that year because he viewed Nixon as unbeatable.
  • Their first conversation would be off the record.
  • I had sources - not many, but a few - who risked their jobs to tell me things off the record and I never gave one of them up.
unofficial, confidential, in (strict) confidence, not to be made public
unofficially, privately, in (strict) confidence, confidentially, between ourselves

on record

1 (also on the record) Used in reference to the making of an official or public statement: he seems shadowy because he rarely speaks on the record
More example sentences
  • Other MSPs were critical but too frightened of criticism from their colleagues to speak on the record.
  • They refused to speak on the record about the report until it is released.
  • I want to put on the record that I haven't had a penny of public money.
2Officially measured and noted: it proved to be one of the warmest Decembers on record
More example sentences
  • And it's now officially the strongest hurricane on record, in a season which is tied with 1933 as the most intense ever.
  • The recent election was one of the most violent on record with 2,247 incidents officially reported, including 46 deaths.
  • The largest dead squid on record measured about 60 ft including the length of its tentacles, but no one knows how big the creatures might grow.

set (or put) the record straight

Give the true version of events that have been reported incorrectly; correct a misapprehension.
Example sentences
  • Wary of the way Hollywood might handle the story, he set out to create his own version and set the record straight.
  • The truth turned out to be a little different, but almost nobody who had reported the case actually set the record straight.
  • Indeed, they have done the job of true journalists: they have set the record straight.



Pronunciation: /rēˈkôrdəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Unfortunately, after it was completed, I realised that the recording sounded dreadful, and that I definitely need a recordable CD.
  • As with recordable blank CDs and DVDs, the manufacturers will make the products but accept no liability for what you might do with them.
  • Even so, with care, those recordable CDs should easily last 50 years.


Middle English: from Old French record 'remembrance', from recorder 'bring to remembrance', from Latin recordari 'remember', based on cor, cord- 'heart'. The noun was earliest used in law to denote the fact of being written down as evidence. The verb originally meant 'narrate orally or in writing', also 'repeat so as to commit to memory'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rec·ord

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.