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documentary Line breaks: docu|men¦tary
Pronunciation: /dɒkjʊˈmɛnt(ə)ri/

Definition of documentary in English:


1Consisting of or based on official documents: documentary evidence of regular payments from the company
More example sentences
  • We had told Mr Blunkett's officials about our irrefutable documentary evidence before he wrote his article.
  • The discussion so far has been mainly based upon literary and documentary evidence.
  • His published record was the first documentary evidence in Europe of the existence of the New World.
2Using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject: a documentary programme about Manchester United
More example sentences
  • Loach also commented that the use of documentary elements reflected the programme's scheduling.
  • He belonged to the generation of broadcasters who saw documentary reporting as the highest possible calling.
  • On the last day, the subjects went to a law school where they saw a documentary re-enactment of a real rape trial.

noun (plural documentaries)

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A film or television or radio programme that provides a factual report on a particular subject.
Example sentences
  • In the last month he has been the subject of two television documentaries.
  • There are many books, films and documentaries on the subject of widows in India.
  • His exploits are to be screened on two television documentaries about the sport.
factual programme, factual film;
programme, film, report, presentation, broadcast, transmission


Early 19th century: from document + -ary1.

Words that rhyme with documentary

alimentary, complementary, complimentary, elementary, parliamentary, rudimentary, sedimentary, supplementary, testamentary
Definition of documentary in:
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