Document Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Document, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Document?

n. Any paper with writing on it. A generic term popular amongst attorneys. It could technically include a piece of wood with a will or message scratched onto it.

History and Meaning of Document

The term "document" is derived from the Latin word "documentum", meaning teaching or proof. In the legal context, a document refers to any physical or electronic medium that contains information or evidence, including paper, email, text messages, photographs, videos, and audio recordings.

Documents play a crucial role in the legal system as they can serve as evidence in legal proceedings. They can be used to prove ownership, title, authenticity, or the existence of a contract or agreement. It is, therefore, essential to properly manage and store documents to ensure their integrity and admissibility in court.

Examples of Document

  1. A lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant.
  2. A court order issued by a judge.
  3. A tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
  4. An email communication between two parties discussing a business transaction.
  5. A deed indicating the transfer of ownership of a property.

Legal Terms Similar to Document

  1. Record - a document that has been created or received by an organization or government agency as evidence of its operations.
  2. Instrument - a written or printed document that serves as evidence of a legal transaction or agreement.
  3. Writing - anything expressed or described upon a tangible medium, which can include paper, computer files or recordings.