[dos-ee-ey, -ee-er, daw-see-ey, -see-er; French daw-syey]

noun, plural dos·si·ers [dos-ee-eyz, -ee-erz, daw-see-eyz, -see-ers; French daw-syey] /ˈdɒs iˌeɪz, -i ərz, ˈdɔ siˌeɪz, -si ərs; French dɔˈsyeɪ/.

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

Synonyms for dossier Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dossier

summary, profile, information, record, archives, report, portfolio

Examples from the Web for dossier

Contemporary Examples of dossier

Historical Examples of dossier

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


    Poul William Anderson

  • I suspect that my dossier must have been interesting reading!


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • Yes, it had been mentioned in a dossier from the Ministry of Justice.

    Aladdin of London

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • When he had found ink and paper he began the interrogation which should help his dossier.

    Aladdin of London

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • "Quite," said Mears; and he laid the Fentiman dossier on the table.

    Mrs. Thompson

    William Babington Maxwell

British Dictionary definitions for dossier



a collection of papers containing information on a particular subject or person

Word Origin for dossier

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

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