[ dos-ee-ey, -ee-er, daw-see-ey, -see-er; French daw-syey ]
/ ˈdɒs iˌeɪ, -i ər, ˈdɔ siˌeɪ, -si ər; French dɔˈsyeɪ /

WATCH NOW: How Do You Pronounce "Dossier"?

WATCH NOW: How Do You Pronounce "Dossier"?

What do you call a bundle of papers? A stack? Pile? Trash? All that work you’ve been putting off? What about "dossier"?


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.

Nearby words

  1. doss house,
  2. dossal,
  3. dosser,
  4. dosseret,
  5. dosshouse,
  6. dossil,
  7. dost,
  8. dostoevsky,
  9. dostoyevsky, feodor,
  10. dot

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

Examples from the Web for dossier

British Dictionary definitions for dossier


/ (ˈdɒsɪˌeɪ, -sɪə, French dosje) /


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