with respect to written proof included or certified on paper
- relating to or consisting of or based on papers
- (of film, tv, radio, or photography) depicting a real-life occasion using photos or interviews with people active in the occasion
- a film or television program presenting the facts about people or event
- Pertaining to written evidence; contained or certified on paper.
c.1810, "pertaining to papers," from document + -ary. Indicating "factual, meant to supply accurate documentation of one thing" is from 1926, from French movie documentarie (1924). The noun (short for documentary movie) is attested from 1935. Docudrama is a 1961 coinage.
1. Considering or related to written records. 2. Written, oral, or photographic record of actual occasions or facts. While not fictionalized, a documentary may consist of parts made of folklore or record, and/or can sometimes include dramatization to highlight certain events or characters.
(a.) Pertaining to written proof; contained or certified on paper.
From the combination of these considerations, it will be seen that the farthest date to which documentary or other records extend is now generally regarded by anthropologists as but the earliest distinctly visible point of the historic period, beyond which stretches back a vast indefinite series of prehistoric ages.