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documentation

[dok-yuh-men-tey-shuh n, -muh n-] /ˌdɒk yə mɛnˈteɪ ʃən, -mən-/
noun
1.
the use of documentary evidence.
2.
a furnishing with documents, as to substantiate a claim or the data in a book or article.
3.
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.
Origin
1745-1755
1745-55; document + -ation
Related forms
documentational, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for documentation

documentation

/ˌdɒkjʊmɛnˈteɪʃən/
noun
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for documentation
n.

1754, "admonition," from Medieval Latin documentationem (nominative documentio) "admonition" (see document). Meaning "furnishing with documents or papers" is from 1884, probably from document. Meaning "collection of informational papers" is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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documentation in Technology

programming
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]
(2003-10-25)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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