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[pey-per-muh-shey, -ma-; French pa-pyey-mah-shey] /ˌpeɪ pər məˈʃeɪ, -mæ-; French pa pyeɪ mɑˈʃeɪ/
a substance made of pulped paper or paper pulp mixed with glue and other materials or of layers of paper glued and pressed together, molded when moist to form various articles, and becoming hard and strong when dry.
made of papier-mâché.
easily destroyed or discredited; false, pretentious, or illusory:
a papier-mâché façade of friendship.
Also, paper-mâché.
Origin of papier-mâché
1745-55; < French: literally, chewed paper Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for papier-mache
Historical Examples
  • Why, look at our two others yonder: they have papier-mache faces, too!

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • "I don't hold with any make of papier-mache wheel," the Mogul insisted.

    The Day's Work, Volume 1 Rudyard Kipling
  • But we havent so much as a papier-mache Easter chick, objected Louise.

    Winona of the Camp Fire Margaret Widdemer
  • Then came floats with papier-mache figures caricaturing political events in the history of the Republic.

  • As she hung her wrap in the corner of her room, her eye fell upon the papier-mache lunch box.

    The Secret Mark

    Roy J. Snell
  • The cymbals clashed—and a long music record began to unfold in segments like a papier-mache snake.

    Diane of the Green Van

    Leona Dalrymple
  • Our papier-mache manufacturers, as well as the Continental ones, should go to Yeddo to learn what can be done with paper.

    The Art of Travel Francis Galton
  • Lura's was a papier-mache turkey, nearly as large as the one brought home at the same time by the market-boy.

  • Each wheel of the locomotive was made with metallic rim and a centre portion made of wood or papier-mache.

    Edison, His Life and Inventions Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
British Dictionary definitions for papier-mache


/ˌpæpjeɪˈmæʃeɪ; French papjemɑʃe/
a hard strong substance suitable for painting on, made of paper pulp or layers of paper mixed with paste, size, etc, and moulded when moist
made of papier-mâché
Word Origin
C18: from French, literally: chewed paper
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 papier-mache

also papier mache, 1753, from French papier-mâché, literally "chewed paper," from Old French papier "paper" (see paper (n.)) + mâché "compressed, mashed," from past participle of mâcher, literally "to chew," from Late Latin masticare "masticate" (see mastication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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