early 15c., "a doctrine;" late 15c., "teaching, instruction" (senses now obsolete), from Old French document (13c.) "lesson, written evidence" and directly from Latin documentum "example, proof, lesson," in Medieval Latin "official written instrument, authoritative paper," from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept."
Meaning "written or printed paper that provides proof or evidence" is from early 18c., hence "anything bearing legible writing or inscription." Related: Documents.
1640s, "to teach with authority," a sense now obsolete; see document (n.). Meaning "to support by documentary evidence" is from 1711. Related: Documented; documenting.
1754, "admonition, instruction, teaching," a sense now obsolete, noun of action from document (v.) or else from Medieval Latin documentationem (nominative documentio) "a reminding," from Latin documentum "example, proof, lesson," in Medieval Latin "official written instrument, authoritative paper" (see document (n.)). Meaning "preparation or use of documentary evidence" is by 1888. Scientific meaning "a collection and classification of informational papers" is from 1927.
It forms all or part of: condign; dainty; decent; decor; decorate; decorous; deign; dignify; dignity; diplodocus; disciple; discipline; disdain; docent; Docetism; docile; docimacy; doctor; doctrine; document; dogma; dogmatic; doxology; heterodox; indignance; indignant; indignation; indignity; orthodox; paradox; synecdoche.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit daśasyati "shows honor, is gracious," dacati "makes offerings, bestows;" Greek dokein "to appear, seem, think," dekhesthai "to accept;" Latin decere "to be fitting or suitable," docere "to teach," decus "grace, ornament."
"one who construes or interprets" (a document, in a specified way), 1830, in reference to the U.S. Constitution, from construction in the "explanation of the words of a legal document" sense + -ist. Usually with strict or loose; the former prefers exact and strict interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.
"formal written instrument bestowing privileges and rights, serving as legal evidence of them," c. 1200, from Old French chartre (12c.) "charter, letter, document, covenant," from Latin chartula/cartula, literally "little paper," diminutive of charta/carta "paper, document" (see chart (n.)). Meaning "aircraft hired for a particular purpose" is from 1922.