a written or printed record, as of transactions or judicial opinions, especially when used to incriminate someone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use paper trail in a sentence
The official also said that top district officials frequently chatted in Google Docs in order to avoid communicating by email — a strategy commonly used among students to chat with one another without leaving a paper trail.Official: San Diego Unified Trained Employees to Delete Emails From Public Record | Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx | January 25, 2021 | Voice of San Diego
E-poll books have paper backups, for example, while ballots have paper trails, and voter registration databases have offline backups.Why more, earlier voting means greater election security—not less | Bobbie Johnson | December 10, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
When you start to act out, there are incident reports that have to be sent all around, and now there’s a paper trail and a lot more people are getting involved.The Way Prisoners Flag Guard Abuse, Inadequate Health Care and Unsanitary Conditions Is Broken | by Shannon Heffernan, WBEZ | December 2, 2020 | ProPublica
An estimated 95% of American votes had a paper trail this year thanks to mail-in ballots and in-person voting machines—a great help with verification and audits.
Touchscreen machines that record a digital ballot, for example, may be simple, but they are not considered as secure because they do not create a paper trail.Technical Difficulties On Election Day Won’t Mean Democracy Is Over | Kaleigh Rogers (email@example.com) | October 27, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
The song left a long paper trail, and discovery of the 24-track proved far easier than other Judas Priest masters.
And if they review this, the paper trail is going to be sweaty.Does ‘Orange is the New Black’ Have a Jewish Problem? | Sigal Samuel | July 18, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
First, given the magnitude of the alleged achievement, the Mitchell paper trail was shorter than he expected.The Myth of Jackie Mitchell, the Girl Who Struck Out Ruth and Gehrig | Adam Doster | May 18, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
News of an expanded investigation–with a subpoenaed paper trail–may be welcome.
Howard Kurtz on the long paper trail that could alienate moderate swing-state voters just getting to know Paul Ryan.Is Paul Ryan a Ticking Time Bomb as Mitt Romney’s Running Mate? | Howard Kurtz | August 14, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
I'll tell you, Sam; we'll tear up paper and leave a paper trail.Two Little Savages | Ernest Thompson Seton
Whereas Dale got the lantern, found my paper trail, and guessed at the ferry.A Man in the Open | Roger Pocock