Last modified on 19 July 2014, at 07:31



A sheet of paper.
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From Anglo-Norman paper, from Old French papier, from Latin papȳrus, from Ancient Greek πάπυρος (pápuros).



paper (countable and uncountable, plural papers)

  1. A sheet material used for writing on or printing on (or as a non-waterproof container), usually made by draining cellulose fibres from a suspension in water.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
  2. A newspaper or anything used as such (such as a newsletter or listing magazine).
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, Death on the Centre Court:
      “Anthea hasn't a notion in her head but to vamp a lot of silly mugwumps. She's set her heart on that tennis bloke [] whom the papers are making such a fuss about.”
  3. (uncountable) Wallpaper.
  4. (uncountable) Wrapping paper.
  5. A written document, generally shorter than a book (white paper, term paper), in particular one written for the Government.
  6. A written document that reports scientific or academic research and is usually subjected to peer review before publication in a scientific journal or in the proceedings of a scientific or academic meeting (such as a conference, a workshop or a symposium).
  7. A scholastic essay.
  8. (slang) Money.
  9. (New Zealand) A university course.
  10. A paper packet containing a quantity of items.
    a paper of pins, tacks, opium, &c.
  11. A medicinal preparation spread upon paper, intended for external application.
    cantharides paper


Derived termsEdit



paper (not comparable)

  1. Made of paper.
    paper bag
    paper plane
  2. Insubstantial.
    paper tiger
    paper gangster



paper (third-person singular simple present papers, present participle papering, simple past and past participle papered)

  1. (transitive) To apply paper to.
    to paper the hallway walls
  2. (transitive) To document; to memorialize.
    After they reached an agreement, their staffs papered it up.
  3. (transitive) To fill a theatre or other paid event with complimentary seats.
    As the event has not sold well, we'll need to paper the house.




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paper m (plural papers)

  1. paper
  2. role

Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


paper m (oblique plural papers, nominative singular papers, nominative plural paper)

  1. reed (plant)
  2. paper (thin white substance)
  3. document