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[dos-ee-ey, -ee-er, daw-see-ey, -see-er; French daw-syey] /ˈdɒs iˌeɪ, -i ər, ˈdɔ siˌeɪ, -si ər; French dɔˈsyeɪ/
noun, plural dossiers
[dos-ee-eyz, -ee-erz, daw-see-eyz, -see-ers; French daw-syey] /ˈdɒs iˌeɪz, -i ərz, ˈdɔ siˌeɪz, -si ərs; French dɔˈsyeɪ/ (Show IPA)
a collection or file of documents on the same subject, especially a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.
Origin of dossier
1875-80; < French: bundle of documents with a label attached to the back or spine, equivalent to dos (< Latin dorsum) back + -ier -ier2
record, report, folder. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dossier
  • Three letters of recommendation should be sent directly from the referee or dossier service.
  • The dossier made a bad situation worse, the author concludes, but was not the turning-point it has been portrayed as.
  • His dossier records him informing the president that some of his closest advisers were prime suspects in the affair.
  • Neither of which would seem appropriate for an academic dossier.
  • Your privacy can also be invaded if the government compiles an extensive dossier about you.
  • The candidate obviously didn't know that that kind of letter was in the dossier.
  • dossier of the ascension a practical guide to chakra activation and kundalini awakening.
British Dictionary definitions for dossier


/ˈdɒsɪˌeɪ; -sɪə; French dosje/
a collection of papers containing information on a particular subject or person
Word Origin
C19: from French: a file with a label on the back, from dos back, from Latin dorsum
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 dossier

1880, from French dossier "bundle of papers," from dos "back" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin dossum, variant of Latin dorsum "back" (see dorsal). Supposedly so called because the bundle bore a label on the back, or possibly from resemblance of the bulge in a mass of bundled papers to the curve of a back. Old French dossiere meant "back-strap, ridge strap (of a horse's harness)."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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