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[pey-puh-ree] /ˈpeɪ pə ri/
like paper; thin or flimsy:
the papery petals of the narcissus.
Origin of papery
First recorded in 1620-30; paper + -y1
Related forms
paperiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for papery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "No one can complain of papery ices here," said the Marchesa.

  • The coat of the inner ball is thin and papery, and opens by an apical mouth.

  • It was of silky, papery fiber, as smooth to the touch as to the eye.

    Diplomatic Days Edith O'Shaughnessy
  • Look along the twigs and you will find the needles arranged in bundles, with a papery, enclosing sheath at the base.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
  • Soft pines shed the papery sheath of their leaf bundles before the leaves themselves begin to fall.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
  • He took out his clasp knife, and after stripping off the papery outer shell, cut the onion into thick dewy slices.

    Great Possessions David Grayson
  • The flowers last a long time in water, gradually becoming paler in color and papery in texture.

  • They grow from one to over two feet high, taller than the grasslike leaves, forming a loose cluster, with papery bracts.

  • The peculiar, five-lobed involucre, which becomes large and papery after flowering, contains from three to five flowers.

British Dictionary definitions for papery


like paper, esp in thinness, flimsiness, or dryness
Derived Forms
paperiness, noun
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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