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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You will have to ask for that dossier, and study it most carefully for your own defence.

    My Memoirs Marguerite Steinheil
  • I've studied his dossier, and he's not the kind of man to switch loyalties that easily.

    Security Poul William Anderson
  • Immediately following the "conversation" is the principal document in the dossier.

    The Fight For The Republic in China Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale
  • When he had found ink and paper he began the interrogation which should help his dossier.

    Aladdin of London Sir Max Pemberton
  • Then a lengthy flow of interrogation prompted by reference to some dossier in hand.

    Dust of the Desert Robert Welles Ritchie
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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