Definition of paper trail in English:

paper trail


  • A series of documents providing written evidence of a sequence of events or the activities of a person or organization.

    ‘it is very important to have a paper trail in the event of a dispute’
    ‘the paper trail led the FBI to him in just six days’
    • ‘They also know a paper trail exists in case a recount is required.’
    • ‘The hijackers needed to establish a strong paper trail to connect them to their assumed and stolen identities.’
    • ‘There will have to be a paper trail and accountability of the votes.’
    • ‘It is not necessary to have a paper trail of arms sales and monetary exchanges to link these groups together.’
    • ‘I also want to set out, for the record, the paper trail that shows just how dodgy the behaviour of this Government is.’
    • ‘The paper trail led far beyond the inspector to entrap top bureaucrats and key jurists in the web of corruption.’
    • ‘The panel is urging photo IDs for all voters and a verifiable paper trail for electronic votes.’
    • ‘Computerised records and documents should make it easier to provide a paper trail for investigators to study.’
    • ‘Thus a paper trail has led US law enforcement to identify at least twelve of the hijackers with certainty.’
    • ‘But they examined only the paper trail and did not publicly disclose their findings.’
    • ‘The biggest change on many of these farms will be the paper trail needed to demonstrate compliance with the act.’
    • ‘It is essential that electronic voting mechanisms provide for a paper trail.’
    • ‘Congressman Rush Holt wants every touch-screen voting machine to leave a paper trail.’
    • ‘The EU also wants the food industry to establish a precise paper trail for all GM ingredients.’
    • ‘The book is written clearly and the author leaves a nice paper trail for those who are interested in further reflection.’
    • ‘Last night the emergence of a clear paper trail over the visa application for his lover's nanny hastened the collapse of his own political credibility.’
    • ‘While the Citizens' Assembly did recommend that a paper trail be kept of the vote count, this does not go far enough.’
    • ‘We've preserved a paper trail of our own internal debates in the bi-monthly columns on our home page.’
    • ‘The paper trail, while not long, provides sufficient supporting documentation.’
    • ‘The Co Cork man has impressed the courts in America with a paper trail of documentation which seems to prove his case.’


paper trail