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[pey-per-weyt] /ˈpeɪ pərˌweɪt/
a small, heavy object of glass, metal, etc., placed on papers to keep them from scattering.
Origin of paperweight
First recorded in 1855-60; paper + weight Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for paper-weight
Historical Examples
  • Her master kept it on his table as a paper-weight, and no one knew it was loaded.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Look out, Peter, let me shy this paper-weight at him—there, I'll bet that mashed him into jelly!

    Rosemary Josephine Lawrence
  • And the paper-weight echoed, “Not a thing out of the ordinary!”

    The Brown Mouse Herbert Quick
  • The foot of the Princess Hermonthis to be used for a paper-weight!

  • Then he rose to his feet and tossed the paper-weight on to the desk with a crash.

    The Girl in the Golden Atom

    Raymond King Cummings
  • Yes, it was I, with the paper-weight on the table: I threw it into the street.

  • "I shall have to keep this, sir," he said, putting it under a paper-weight.

    The Drunkard

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • "It is our man," he said, thrusting the paper-weight in his pocket.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • As quick as thought he reached for the paper-weight and hurled it with all his force.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • Matravers laid the note down, and covered it with a paper-weight.

    Berenice E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for paper-weight


a small heavy object placed on loose papers to prevent them from scattering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paper-weight

"heavy object used to hold down papers," 1858, from paper (n.) + weight (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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