[dok-yuh-men-tey-shuhn, -muhn-]
the use of documentary evidence.
a furnishing with documents, as to substantiate a claim or the data in a book or article.
Computers. manuals, listings, diagrams, and other hard- or soft-copy written and graphic materials that describe the use, operation, maintenance, or design of software or hardware: The documentation for the driver program is displayed on the screen.

1745–55; document + -ation

documentational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
documentation (ˌdɒkjʊmɛnˈteɪʃən)
1.  the act of supplying with or using documents or references
2.  the documents or references supplied
3.  the furnishing and use of documentary evidence, as in a court of law
4.  computing the written comments, graphical illustrations, flowcharts, manuals, etc, supplied with a program or software system

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1754, "admonition," from M.L. documentationem "adminition" (see document). Meaning "furnishing with documents or papers" is from 1884, probably from document. Meaning "collection of informational papers" is from 1927, from a sense found in French.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

documentation definition

The multiple kilograms of macerated, pounded, steamed, bleached, and pressed trees that accompany most modern software or hardware products (see also tree-killer). Hackers seldom read paper documentation and (too) often resist writing it; they prefer theirs to be terse and on-line. A common comment on this predilection is "You can't grep dead trees".
See drool-proof paper, verbiage, treeware.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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