1. Usually archives. documents or records relating to the activities, business dealings, etc., of a person, family, corporation, association, community, or nation.
  2. archives, a place where public records or other historical documents are kept.
  3. 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.
  4. 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), ar·chived, ar·chiv·ing.
  1. to place or store in an archive: to vote on archiving the city's historic documents.
  2. 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(ḗ) magistracy, office + -eion suffix of place Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for archiving

Contemporary Examples of archiving

British Dictionary definitions for archiving


noun (often plural)
  1. a collection of records of or about an institution, family, etc
  2. a place where such records are kept
  3. computing data transferred to a tape or disk for long-term storage rather than frequent use
verb (tr)
  1. to store (documents, data, etc) in an archive or other repository
Derived Formsarchival, adjective

Word Origin for archive

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

Word Origin and History for archiving



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper