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Idioms about record

Origin of record

1175–1225; 1875–80 for def. 17; (v.) Middle English recorden<Old French recorder<Latin recordārī to remember, recollect (re-re- + cord- (stem of cors) heart + -ārī infinitive ending); (noun) Middle English record(e) <Old French, derivative of recorder; compare Medieval Latin recordum


re·cord·a·ble, adjectiverec·ord·less, adjectiveun·re·cord·a·ble, adjectivewell-re·cord·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of record!

Record means to set something down or preserve it in a way that keeps permanent evidence of it. Record is also used to refer to the writing or document that is the preserved account of something. Record is also an achievement that is the best or highest amount. Record has several other senses as a verb and a noun.

Record means to somehow preserve a note or evidence of something so that it can be consulted later or prove that something actually existed. When you write down the time that you did something, you are recording it. When you film a birthday party, you are also recording it. Music producers record a singer’s or band’s studio performance of a song using audio equipment. When used as a verb, record is pronounced [ ri-kawrd ], with emphasis on the second syllable.

  • Real-life examples: Police detectives record details about crimes and crime scenes. Cameras record news events, sports, and television programs to be viewed later.
  • Used in a sentence: The journalist recorded the mayor’s statements in her notepad.

Related to this sense, record is used to refer to the resulting document, file, or other object that proves something existed or contains information that a person recorded. When used as a noun or adjective, record is pronounced [ rek-erd ], with the emphasis on the first syllable.

  • Real-life examples: Schools have records of students’ grades on a computer or as documents in a filing cabinet. Police keep records of all of the crimes they have worked on, people they have arrested, and many other events. The government has detailed records of what it spends tax money on.
  • Used in a sentence: I keep a record of all of the toys I have bought so that I know which ones are missing from my collection. 

Record is also used to mean an achievement that is the best, highest amount, or otherwise worth keeping track of. A person may also use this sense sarcastically or as an exaggeration.

  • Real-life examples: Robert Wadlow holds the record for the tallest man who ever lived (8 feet 11.1 inches). Blackie the cat set the record for world’s wealthiest cat when it inherited $12.5 million from its owner in 1988. Guinness World Records is a company that publishes information considered to be the official documentation of impressive (or weird) records that people have set.
  • Used in a sentence: My boss is trying to set the record for worst manager ever.

Where does record come from?

The first records of the verb record come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Latin recordārī, meaning “to remember” or “to recollect.” The first records of the noun record come from around 1325. It ultimately comes from the Old French recorder.

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What are some other forms related to record?

  • recorder (noun)
  • recording (noun, present tense verb)
  • recordable (adjective)
  • recordless (adjective)
  • unrecordable (adjective)
  • well-recorded (adjective)

What are some synonyms for record?

What are some words that share a root or word element with record

What are some words that often get used in discussing record?

How is record used in real life?

Record is a very common word that most often means to preserve documentation or evidence of something.

Try using record!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym of record?

A. document
B. note
C. forget
D. log

How to use record in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for record


noun (ˈrɛkɔːd)
verb (rɪˈkɔːd) (mainly tr)

Derived forms of record

recordable, adjective

Word Origin for record

C13: from Old French recorder to call to mind, from Latin recordārī to remember, from re- + cor heart
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with record


see break the record; go on record; just for the record; off the record; set (the record) straight; track record.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.