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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archives, a place where public records or other historical documents are kept.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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Examples from the web for archives
  • They went through archives and specimen collections.
  • The archives have no doubt been weeded during their years of storage.
  • His archives were the easiest content to launch with, so that's where they started.
  • If that really happened, it does sound pretty scandalous, regardless of the row about the archives.
  • But that does not matter in the short term, because holographic storage is well suited to making archives.
  • The site archives millions of strategically-selected postings, organized through advanced search and relevancy options.
  • The images are not from famous collections or even from news or agency archives.
  • Many of these subsequently ended up in national archives.
  • Most of my years of research had been sedentary, in hushed libraries and poorly lit archives.
  • In the archives of the brain, our lives linger or disappear.
British Dictionary definitions for archives


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 archives

c.1600, from French archif (16c.), from Late Latin archivum (singular), from Greek ta arkheia "public records," plural of arkheion "town hall," from arkhe "government," literally "beginning, origin, first place" (see archon).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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