Definition of report in US English:



  • 1reporting verb Give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated.

    with object ‘the representative reported a decline in milk and meat production’
    with clause ‘police reported that the flood waters were abating’
    no object ‘the teacher should report on the child's progress’
    • ‘Unfortunately, we can't report on the outcome of this most recent visit, as he has not been heard from since.’
    • ‘Parker will report on what's in the bottle, courageously unconcerned by the reputation on the label or by the affability of the wine-maker.’
    • ‘Your combined contribution should not be more than the amount of compensation you report on your tax return.’
    • ‘It includes revenue accounting and Vat reporting for 41 European subsidiaries.’
    • ‘Under the terms of the loan, the co-op was required to report on the impact of the new construction on local wildlife.’
    • ‘If the element of surprise wanes, there is no more novelty to report on.’
    • ‘The suspicious father even instructs his servant Reynaldo to spy on Laertes in Paris and to report on his son's behavior.’
    • ‘They report on the dramatic increase in venture ratings while also commenting on the pressures to conform to the norms of an MBA education.’
    • ‘The week before we go to New York, students report on one aspect of New York.’
    • ‘There is nothing special to report on the technical side.’
    • ‘The working girls are then instructed to report on every individual they entertain.’
    • ‘Previously reported accounting gains will be quickly transformed into problematic losses.’
    • ‘There's not a whole lot to report on this sound mix - some distortion and hiss are present due to the shaky video/archival footage featured in the film.’
    • ‘The spectator observes a certain space and has the capacity to report on what their eyes see.’
    • ‘Crossbow makes sensors that can report on vibration, tilt, acceleration, temperature, and other factors.’
    • ‘And even a weak quarterly earnings report on Wednesday didn't slow things down.’
    • ‘NKA was founded in 1994 to report on activities of contemporary African art and to train young African writers.’
    • ‘There isn't a whole lot to report on this transfer.’
    • ‘Students find it much easier to report on a short discussion than to risk being wrong as an individual.’
    • ‘I plan to start a real portfolio similar to that shown above and will hopefully be able to report on the results again at a future date.’
    announce, describe, give an account of, tell of, detail, delineate, outline
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    1. 1.1no object Cover an event or subject as a journalist or a reporter.
      ‘the public disliked the way that the media reported on the scandal’
      with clause ‘the Egyptian news agency reported that a coup attempt had taken place’
      with object ‘the paper reported a secret program by the country to build nuclear warheads’
      • ‘But news agency AFP reported on Monday that thousands of the League's supporters took to the streets of the capital Dhaka on Monday in protest.’
      • ‘The Independent reported on Saturday that Flying Brands, the mail order flowers and books group, is back on the acquisition trail, six years after its last attempt to expand ended disastrously.’
      • ‘Sahafi is a journalist and self-proclaimed ‘speaker of the truth’, since he is working in Algiers and trying to report on corrupt officials this is not a pleasant job.’
      • ‘They'd sent me up to Lancashire to report on the collapse of the English cotton industry because Japan was taking over.’
      • ‘Last week this newspaper reported on the potential $1 billion ‘poison put option’ exercisable by Elan bondholders next year.’
      • ‘Last August 12, The New York Times reported on a story they also created.’
      • ‘Notes from Underground is a new eye Weekly series in which local arts workers report on their experiences within the Toronto scene.’
      • ‘Frankly, the fact that the New York Times made the effort to report on a movie star's religious convictions is a little disturbing.’
      • ‘Kidder had been sent to Haiti to report on American troops who were bracing the democratically elected government in the face of a powerful military junta.’
      • ‘I noticed in a recent issue of Newsweek Magazine that some editor decided to report on a conference where there was much trepidation about bloggers.’
      • ‘An American editor and newspaperman who reported on the Scopes trial, which concerned evolution.’
      • ‘Reporting on his own life as he used to report on the lives of others, Wiltfong will tell the story of how, as a student, he ran himself over with a car.’
      • ‘What began as a hobby, took a 15-year-old prodigy rock critic/journalist around America reporting on the up and coming fictional rock band Stillwater.’
      • ‘Coverage such as the Time article illustrates reflexivity because it not only reported on the event, but it drew attention to the production of the event as news.’
      • ‘He interestingly elicits the languor and melancholy of Fowler, fusing this ennui with the action as Fowler journeys up-country to report on the vicious shooting war.’
      • ‘Mr. Peterside, I was in Kenya ten years ago to report on the African Trade and Opportunity Act, which has since passed.’
      • ‘This drop was less steep than the 15 per cent decline that NNI had estimated last week, as reported on these pages on the basis of partial data.’
      • ‘John Wilkes writes brilliantly in defence of press freedom to report on Parliament, only to be discredited by a dirty poem written as a young rake.’
      • ‘Hemingway, who had become a journalist before the war, married Elisabeth Hadley, and went to report on the war in Greece and Turkey.’
      • ‘I also take on other stuff like writing articles, reporting on runway shows, talent scouting and consulting/working on other projects in fashion and art…’
      investigate, look into, enquire into, survey, research, study
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    2. 1.2be reported Used to indicate that something has been stated, although one cannot confirm its accuracy.
      with infinitive ‘these hoaxers are reported to be hacking into airline frequencies to impersonate air traffic controllers’
      • ‘However, the captains of the detained ships have been reported as describing the US action as piracy.’
      • ‘Although not reported, the study's findings do not indicate high multicollinearity among cluster variates.’
      • ‘Although sales fell a reported six percent during the most recent fiscal year, sources remain confident in the sustainability of the Kinkade brand.’
      • ‘True enough: except it was reported that David Benioff, author of both book and screenplay, omitted the scene from the script's first draft only for Lee to demand its reinstatement.’
      • ‘In fact, Grainge would love to get his hands on Williams, who recently signed a golden-handcuffs deal with EMI for a reported £40m.’
      supposed, so-called, claimed, professed, purported, ostensible, apparent, putative, unproven, rumoured, reputed, presumed, assumed, reported, declared, stated, avowed, described
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    3. 1.3with object Make a formal statement or complaint about (someone or something) to the necessary authority.
      ‘undisclosed illegalities are reported to the company's directors’
      with object and complement ‘eight horses have been reported missing in the last month’
      • ‘Bogus offshore banking sites can threaten to report you to your tax authority if you question their methods.’
      • ‘Don't let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting fraud or abuse to the appropriate authorities.’
      • ‘It is a mistake to try to persuade them with gifts: you simply have to discover how to manipulate them, to report them to a higher authority, someone higher up the line of unitary command.’
      • ‘An entity's management should state in the financial statements which financial reporting framework they have chosen for preparation of the entity's financial statements.’
      • ‘Officials at Iveagh House in Dublin are combing through an inventory of the Irish whose families have reported them missing in America.’
      • ‘The last requirement would be a formal reporting requirement on a periodic basis to the fund that can be compiled as feedback to the investors.’
      • ‘Himmelstoss reports him to the commander, Bertink, for insubordination.’
      • ‘There have been many people reporting these issues but so far the company hasn't done anything about it as of yet.’
      • ‘Generally, accountants cannot report their clients to taxing authorities due to confidentiality and privacy legal issues.’
      • ‘I recently lost my mobile phone and duly reported it missing.’
      • ‘A ferryman to whom they gave a silver 20-shilling piece decided they must be noblemen who were going to fight a duel abroad, and reported them to the authorities.’
      • ‘Multitudes of people are still reported missing and unaccounted for.’
      • ‘The Communications Authority has called on the general public to make their complaints official by reporting them to the Authority.’
      • ‘There are unlikely to be any new revelations when it reports its third-quarter numbers on Tuesday.’
      • ‘The first suspect is usually the person reporting the crime’
      • ‘You can take a person's loot that you are not fairly entitled to, but you can not escape the fact that others may have witnessed you and reported you to the proper authorities.’
      • ‘He paid tribute to employees from various organisations who have been reporting cases of default to the Authority and other malpractices by their employers.’
      • ‘As the Indigenous Peoples fought back, so the settlers in their reports to London had to play down the level of violence, for fear of scaring off potential investors and settlers.’
      • ‘Garnet was accused of knowing about the plot beforehand and not reporting it to the authorities. he was accused of Jesuitical equivocation.’
      make a complaint against, make a charge against, inform on, tattle on, accuse
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    4. 1.4British with object (of a legislative committee) formally announce that the committee has dealt with (a bill)
      ‘the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House’
      See also report a bill out below
      announce, describe, give an account of, tell of, detail, delineate, outline
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  • 2no object Present oneself formally as having arrived at a particular place or as ready to do something.

    ‘he was given three days to say goodbye to his family and report for active duty’
    • ‘Finally he simply took refuge in his dressing room and refused to report for his next scene, announcing that he hated his wardrobe.’
    • ‘To shatter old work habits, he ordered that henceforth, every Samsung employee must report for work two hours early.’
    • ‘When 100 hopeful young boys report for training camp at the end of the summer, they think they are headed for the usual pre-season good time.’
    • ‘Within minutes, firefighters off shift and heading home were calling, reporting in and getting ready to go to work.’
    present oneself, arrive, appear, turn up, clock in, sign in
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  • 3report tono object Be responsible to (a superior or supervisor)

    ‘the appointee will report to the chairman of the committee’
    • ‘Managers have far less power and fewer subordinates reporting to them.’
    • ‘And are we just supposed to sit there and say, come on, could you tell us who you're reporting to and expect them to respond?’
    • ‘Seward responds immediately, and reports to Holmwood.’
    • ‘Commander Cassis, Captain of USS Peacock, reporting to Washington, also praised Geary for his initiative and courage.’
    • ‘Analysts and investment bankers now must report to different supervisors, and they must be physically separated.’
    • ‘Each such division has its own functional subdivisions, and is directed by a middle manager, an employee, who supervises division operations and reports to corporate headquarters.’
    • ‘The engineer reports to the plant manager and the controller reports to the president.’
    • ‘It gives the responsibility for command to an on-site manager, who reports to the emergency operations centre.’
    • ‘The on-site command staff reports to the emergency operations centre, which would relay incident information to the appropriate people, including elected officials and the news media.’
    • ‘Day-to-day activities varied from helping with the telephone and photocopying to reporting to her supervisor about on-going legislative committee hearings and her own bill-analysis research.’
    • ‘The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought home to leaders in Congress and the executive branch the need for integrating departmental reports to national policymakers.’
    • ‘You would be reporting to the Company Director and be solely responsible for all aspects of administering a network of 40 people or more.’
    • ‘He's now one of our top supervisors, with a whole department reporting to him.’


  • 1An account given of a particular matter, especially in the form of an official document, after thorough investigation or consideration by an appointed person or body.

    ‘the chairman's annual report’
    • ‘The report documented why babies and children are uniquely vulnerable to fetal and developmental effects from exposure to certain pesticides.’
    • ‘That year the first report documenting the violations of the freedom of the press is released.’
    • ‘In 1969, there was even an official report recommending that Japan embark on a weapons programme.’
    • ‘Little more than a week before the court was due to consider the matter, newspaper reports featured a rehash of allegations made against O'Leary and others during 1995.’
    • ‘A good case can be made against foreign aid simply by perusing the official documents and reports published by government lending agencies themselves.’
    • ‘No one expects CEOs to deliver sermons rather than annual reports.’
    • ‘No matter how often a vision is published in annual reports and advertisements, it seldom weathers a change in the market.’
    • ‘Unwanted annual reports and other shareholder documents may also bother you.’
    • ‘Confirmation of the shortcomings of annual reports comes from Merchant, a designer of such documents.’
    • ‘It doesn't matter if you're selling expensive photos for annual reports, cheeky babywear or a religion.’
    • ‘The memo was then added to the report as the documents I would be asked to identify to the Inquiry.’
    • ‘When reading the annual reports, spend more time in the footnotes than perusing the letters from president and portfolio manager.’
    • ‘I make a note for my official report that the presumption of innocence has yet again been violated.’
    • ‘The bulk of an analyst's work is contained in the body of the research report.’
    • ‘In accordance with its policy, the WHO does not compile its own findings from China, instead waiting for official Chinese reports.’
    • ‘The six files on Kenwood also contain condition reports, annual accounts and minutes.’
    • ‘Other companies have been known to give their shareholders small tokens of their appreciation along with their annual reports.’
    • ‘In light of the new proposals, The Sunday Business Post examined the annual reports and accounts of a number of major charities and also looked at some high-profile smaller charities.’
    • ‘However one defines its official status, the report is to a considerable degree at variance with the picture of the Communist Party of the United States given by historians of the American left.’
    • ‘In 1559, a Venetian government official transcribed a report by a Persian traveller who observed the popular Chinese pastime of drinking tea.’
    account, review, record, description, exposition, statement, delineation
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    1. 1.1 A spoken or written description of an event or situation, especially one intended for publication or broadcast in the media.
      ‘press reports suggested that the government was still using secret police to help maintain public order’
      • ‘Unconfirmed media reports have suggested Vivas will launch later this month, once it signs up AIB as a shareholder and obtains regulatory approval.’
      • ‘Silverstein would not be drawn on future applications for the search engine, but media reports have suggested that the company is working on a version of the browser for mobile phones.’
      • ‘If her partner had suffered trial by media, in their reports about his being the prime suspect, his libel action allowed the papers the latitude to outline just why.’
      • ‘According to US media reports, they are given sleeping pills on their return from flights, which the pilots call ‘no-go pills’.’
      • ‘She has investigated the events, the media reports and testimony from victims of those attacks.’
      • ‘The political background of the former lecturer in Marxist sociology was also more complex than the media reports suggested.’
      • ‘A European Commission transport spokesman said the Commission had no intention of limiting the height of vehicles in member states, as suggested by some newspaper reports.’
      • ‘Conflicting reports in the U.S. media while top-notch intelligence and on the spot sources tell the story otherwise, are important to keep an eye on.’
      • ‘This is in addition to handling the media's economic news reports and requests for an analysis of the economic implications of recent events.’
      • ‘The pared-down macroeconomics chapters are far more in line with Bush administration thinking than press reports suggest.’
      • ‘On Thursday, six men (described in media reports as dissident republican suspects) were arrested in raids in England.’
      • ‘Media reports suggest Eircom does not intend to use the proceeds of any refinancing to repay equity.’
      • ‘Media reports during the week suggested that Meteor was creating tension with Lucent by offering a tender for a second equipment provider.’
      • ‘Damiano credits media reports on the many beneficial properties of tea are the primary reason for the increased demand.’
      • ‘Many of Los Tigres's songs are inspired by events in newspaper reports, or stories passed on by fans.’
      • ‘There were also ‘friendly fire’ casualties to which many media reports made ongoing reference.’
      • ‘‘When I look at the newspapers, reports from the media, it is rarely an issue in the Japanese media,’ he said.’
      • ‘Media reports have suggested Vivendi was unhappy with the general level of offers and was hoping to push the bidders higher.’
      • ‘Compare Bill's account of their removal from Palm Island with the voice over version from the media report of the time.’
      • ‘Media reports at the time described Yeltsin as ‘a brash bear of a man from the Urals brought to Moscow to boost Gorbachev's reform efforts’.’
      story, account, description
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    2. 1.2British A teacher's written assessment of a student's work, progress, and conduct, issued at the end of a term or academic year.
      • ‘Along the way, I must qualify extreme principles in various ways and then challenge my students with examinations and term paper reports about my lectures.’
      • ‘The teacher completes a report and returns it to the student's school counselor at the end of each grading period.’
      • ‘Teachers can enter progress reports for each student and print a summary progress report when desired.’
      • ‘It is written in the books of St Xavier in Partibus that a report of Kim's progress was forwarded at the end of each term to Colonel Creighton and to Father Victor, from whose hands duly came the money for his schooling.’
      assessment, evaluation, appraisal
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    3. 1.3Law A detailed formal account of a case heard in a court, giving the main points in the judgment, especially as prepared for publication.
      • ‘The Master of the Court makes policy decisions on investments and supervises her small but well-trained staff in administering these funds and even preparing court reports.’
  • 2A piece of information that is unsupported by firm evidence and that the speaker feels may or may not be true.

    ‘reports were circulating that the chairman was about to resign’
    • ‘Of course, for auctioneers, word of mouth is a great form of gaining new business but there is no harm in background checks after you have heard favourable reports.’
    • ‘It was reported that Anne Heffernan had personally contacted the newspaper to complain about the story.’
    • ‘Ever hear the report of a lost tribe found in the rainforests of Brazil?’
    • ‘The FFI scientists also heard reports of the existence of a seldom-seen large mammal related to goats or cattle and known to the local people as khting vor, the FFI said.’
    • ‘We never get a complete picture of Sayonara, merely a series of lively second-hand reports, which is very much the point - through these she achieves a mythical status.’
    • ‘While in Britain, he said he had heard reports that assets ‘went missing all over the place’.’
    • ‘It's been two years since we first began to hear reports of a promising new wave stirring in Thailand, a country whose cinematic past is almost completely unknown in the West.’
    • ‘We're hearing reports from a lot of people in Houston, San Antonio and other places that they're happy there, they might not want to go back.’
    • ‘According to recent reports, Attorney General Michael McDowell is examining legal options to tackle this growth industry.’
    news, information, word, intelligence, intimation
    rumour, whisper, piece of gossip, piece of hearsay
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1dated Rumor.
      ‘report has it that the beetles have now virtually disappeared’
      rumour, whisper, piece of gossip, piece of hearsay
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  • 3A sudden loud noise of or like an explosion or gunfire.

    • ‘Their rifles made a common report, when, sinking on his wounded limb, part of the body of the savage came into view.’
    bang, blast, crack, pop, shot, gunshot
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  • 4An employee who is supervised by another employee.

    ‘all of his reports are twenty-somethings with no concept of proper attire for work’
    • ‘And, I have been a better, more consistent mentor/teacher to my direct reports.’
  • 5archaic The way in which someone or something is regarded; reputation.

    ‘whatsoever things are lovely and of good report’
    reputation, repute, regard, character, name, standing, stature
    View synonyms


  • on report

    • (especially of a prisoner or member of the armed forces) on a disciplinary charge.

      • ‘I'll have you up on report so fast your head'll spin!’
      • ‘Gorden wasn't put on report by the referee either.’
      • ‘Mark managed to get himself sin-binned and placed on report twice for late challenges but despite their numerical disadvantage Leigh put together their best move of the match to give Maden his second try.’
      • ‘The Bunnies reported no injuries after the match but five-eighth Ashley Harrison has a nervous wait after being placed on report for a high shot on Cowboys prop Shane Tronc.’
      • ‘Turning, she continued ‘And you Mister Dobbins, consider your self on report for accepting a deadly weapon.’’
      • ‘So not only am I grounded, I've also been put on report at school, so I have to get a teacher to sign me in and out of every lesson, and also I've let my parents down again.’
      • ‘Go on, get outta here before I put both of you on report for being where you don't belong!!’
      • ‘Souths five-eighth Ashley Harrison was placed on report for a high tackle on the Cowboys' Mitchell Sargent in the 71st minute of their match in Townsville.’
      • ‘When he reaches the end of the ranks, the officer states, ‘All those who were put on report remain at attention, all others dismissed.’’
      • ‘However, his continued existence on normal location is not without some cost to staff who have to endure an ongoing tirade of abuse and threat which almost any other inmate would find himself on report for.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • report back (or report something back)

    • 1Deliver a spoken or written account of something one has been asked to do or investigate.

      ‘the deadpan voice of a police officer reporting back to his superior’
      ‘every movement I made was reported back to him’
      • ‘On return from any visit, delegation leaders had to report back to the Bezirksverwaltung in writing within 48 hours, detailing progress and results.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, program managers in budgeted programs would simply spend their allocations, reporting back on how many permits were issued, standards written, inspections done, or citations made.’
      • ‘A commission appointed in 1825 to again investigate weirs on the river never reported back to the legislature.’
      • ‘He will write a truly frightening letter, and then report back to Andrew that Cesario is a terrifying warrior.’
      • ‘Well, we can't vouch for Stickpix, but if any reader fancies giving 'em a go and reporting back, we'll write up the results.’
      • ‘It's my sad duty to report back from this film that Chris O'Donnell just can't act.’
      • ‘He then cycles off to whichever part of Edinburgh he has been summoned, has sex, and then reports back on the experience to the following night's audience.’
      • ‘I've yet to see it so will report back afterwards.’
      • ‘We will be following it to find out if you are indeed word-perfect, and we will report back to our committee.’
      • ‘Over the next 12 months, the Pension Commission will report back on what it believes the Government should do to ease the looming pension crisis.’
    • 2Return to work or duty after a period of absence.

  • report a bill out

    • (of a committee of Congress) return a bill to the legislative body for action.


Late Middle English: from Old French reporter (verb), report (noun), from Latin reportare ‘bring back’, from re- ‘back’ + portare ‘carry’. The sense ‘give an account’ gave rise to ‘submit a formal report’, hence ‘inform an authority of one's presence’ ( report (sense 2 of the verb), mid 19th century) and ‘be accountable to a superior’ ( report (sense 3 of the verb), late 19th century).