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What do you call a bundle of papers? A stack? Pile? Trash? All that work you’ve been putting off? What about "dossier"?
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What does dossier mean?
A dossier is a collection of detailed information about a person or other subject.
The word dossier is popularly associated with espionage, law enforcement, and politics. When used in these contexts, it often refers to a file that includes all the “dirt” on someone (such as secret negative information that could be used to blackmail them).
Example: We’ve been tracking this guy for years—we have a 2,000-page dossier on him.
Where does dossier come from?
Dossier comes directly from French, in which it specifically means a “a bundle of papers with a label on the back.” (In French, dos means “back.”) Dossier has been used in English since at least the late 1800s.
Dossier just means “a collection of documents about the same topic.” Dossiers are typically meant to provide comprehensive, detailed information about a subject. In crime TV shows, when a detective hands another detective a thick folder that’s filled with documents about a suspect’s criminal record (usually with their photo paper-clipped to the front), that’s a dossier (though on TV they often just call it a file). But movies and real-life intrigue have made dossier become closely associated with the kind of secret files compiled by spy agencies and political operatives. In this sense, dossiers often contain things like intercepted emails, hidden bank records, and secretly taken photos of the target in compromising positions.
Still, in general, a dossier can be a file on any single subject. It can contain information on a particular organization, business, or any topic—not just an individual person.
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What are some other forms related to dossier?
- dossiers (plural)
What are some synonyms for dossier?
What are some words that share a root or word element with dossier?
What are some words that often get used in discussing dossier?
How is dossier used in real life?
Dossier can be used in a neutral way that simply refers to a packet of information on a subject. But it is often used to refer to a file filled with secret or scandalous details about a person’s life.
Coming up soon: USADA's 1,000-page dossier of evidence of systematic doping by Lance Armstrong. Tygart statement here: http://t.co/uIiZVsC4
— Matt Seaton (@mattseaton) October 10, 2012
The story of FIFA, the international soccer governing body, is also a story of bribery, international intrigue, a former spy who compiled a dossier on President Donald Trump and a guy who walked around with a parrot on his shoulder. https://t.co/kmmrS58fjw
— Marketplace (@Marketplace) June 18, 2018
Y’all thought Batman and Superman and them were pals. But little did you know Batman only formed the justice league to build a dossier about how to manage/defeat/kill any and all of the heroes on the team in case they ever became a threat.
Trust no one.
— 沈黙 (@cqrainh2o) December 4, 2019
Try using dossier!
True or False?
Dossiers always contain secret information that can be used to blackmail someone.
How to use dossier in a sentence
Doing so has often come at a high cost with regards to career prospects or getting blacklisted on websites like Canary Mission that keep detailed and misleading dossiers of supporters of the Palestinian cause.
She addresses many issues in “Know Before You Go,” a dossier shared on the members-only site.The latest hotel amenity doesn’t involve massages or cookies: It’s a free coronavirus test.|Andrea Sachs|March 12, 2021|Washington Post
The head of Voice of America’s parent agency hired a law firm at a rate of about $500 an hour and spent $2 million in taxpayer funds to compile personnel dossiers on managers he had targeted for removal, according to a complaint filed Tuesday.Voice of America overseer spent $2 million investigating employees, complaint alleges|Paul Farhi|January 19, 2021|Washington Post
The Jets delivered the dossier to the paper over the summer.A divisive Jets reporter, accused of bullying, loses his place on the beat|Ben Strauss|December 11, 2020|Washington Post
The Clinton campaign’s funding of Steele’s research only emerged months later, long after the dossier was published.Pence’s allegations about Hillary Clinton: A guide for the perplexed|Glenn Kessler|October 9, 2020|Washington Post
And yet, a dossier of allegations involving human rights could not help any cardinal at a moment like that.How Pope Francis Became the World’s BFF|Jason Berry|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Last year, the Home Office said the dossier had mysteriously disappeared from the archives.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys|Nico Hines|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Recently, when whistleblowers finally surfaced, the Home Office officials could find no trace of the dossier.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero|Clive Irving|November 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He copies and pastes the listing into an ever-expanding dossier of suspected loot.Egyptian Tomb-Robbing Market Explodes on eBay|Bel Trew|May 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He was released from the case in 2007 for “showing bias against the McCanns” according to the court dossier.The Hunt for Madeleine McCann’s Grave|Barbie Latza Nadeau|May 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
"You have had access to my dossier—I feel sure you have, monsieur," Paul said, addressing Pierrepont.The Doctor of Pimlico|William Le Queux
The dossier is not complete, but, such as it is, it furnishes a riddle in which the supernatural appears to play a part.A Thin Ghost and Others|M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James
The former opinion was, no doubt, justified by the evidence which the lost dossier contained.Queens of the French Stage|H. Noel Williams
Meanwhile, my secretary will give you a complete dossier on my planned Official Bulletin.With a Vengeance|J. B. Woodley
He placed the dossier back in a drawer and, lighting a cigar, paced up and down the room puffing furiously.The Grell Mystery|Frank Froest