Etymology
Advertisement

documentary (adj.)

1788, "pertaining to or derived from documents," from document (n.) + -ary. Meaning "factual, meant to provide a record of something" is by 1921, originally in reference to film, from French film documentaire (by 1919). The noun (short for documentary film) is attested by 1935.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of documentary
1
documentary (adj.)
relating to or consisting of or derived from documents;
Synonyms: documental
documentary (adj.)
(of film, television, radio, or photography) depicting a real-life event using images or interviews with people involved in the event;
2
documentary (n.)
a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event;
Synonyms: docudrama / documentary film / infotainment
From wordnet.princeton.edu