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[ahr-kahyv] /ˈɑr kaɪv/
Usually, archives. documents or records relating to the activities, business dealings, etc., of a person, family, corporation, association, community, or nation.
archives, a place where public records or other historical documents are kept.
any extensive record or collection of data:
The encyclopedia is an archive of world history. The experience was sealed in the archive of her memory.
Digital Technology.
  1. a long-term storage device, as a disk or magnetic tape, or a computer directory or folder that contains copies of files for backup or future reference.
  2. a collection of digital data stored in this way.
  3. a computer file containing one or more compressed files.
  4. a collection of information permanently stored on the Internet:
    The magazine has its entire archive online, from 1923 to the present.
verb (used with object), archived, archiving.
to place or store in an archive:
to vote on archiving the city's historic documents.
Digital Technology. to compress (computer files) and store them in a single file.
Origin of archive
1595-1605; orig., as plural < French archives < Latin archī(v)a < Greek archeîa, orig. plural of archeîon public office, equivalent to arch() magistracy, office + -eion suffix of place Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for archive


noun (often pl)
a collection of records of or about an institution, family, etc
a place where such records are kept
(computing) data transferred to a tape or disk for long-term storage rather than frequent use
verb (transitive)
to store (documents, data, etc) in an archive or other repository
Derived Forms
archival, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin archīvum, from Greek arkheion repository of official records, from arkhē government
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 archive

1819 (implied in archived), from archives. Related: Archiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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archive in Technology

1. A single file containing one or (usually) more separate files plus information to allow them to be extracted (separated) by a suitable program.
Archives are usually created for software distribution or backup. tar is a common format for Unix archives, and arc or PKZIP for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows.
2. To transfer files to slower, cheaper media (usually magnetic tape) to free the hard disk space they occupied. This is now normally done for long-term storage but in the 1960s, when disk was much more expensive, files were often shuffled regularly between disk and tape.
3. archive site.

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