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90s Slang You Should Know


[pahrch-muh nt] /ˈpɑrtʃ mənt/
the skin of sheep, goats, etc., prepared for use as a material on which to write.
a manuscript or document on such material.
a stiff, off-white paper resembling this material.
a diploma.
Origin of parchment
late Middle English
1275-1325; late Middle English < Middle French, Old French (parche < Latin Parthica (pellis) Parthian (leather) + -ment (compare Medieval Latin percamentum, Dutch perkament)); replacing Middle English parchemin < Old French (-min < Medieval Latin pergamīnum, variant of pergamēnum, for Late Latin Pergamēna charta paper of Pergamum)
Related forms
parchmentlike, parchmenty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for parchment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I design to engage Ben Tooke, and then receive the parchment from her.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • Her hands, which held the roll of parchment, dropped down upon her lap.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • And he came back into the room on purpose to snap his finger, in his rude way, quite close to Mademoiselle Brun's parchment face.

    The Isle of Unrest Henry Seton Merriman
  • And with the word he began to unroll the parchment carefully.

    The God of Love Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He turned away as he had been shot, hiding his face, but I saw from his neck that he had grown as white as parchment.

British Dictionary definitions for parchment


the skin of certain animals, such as sheep, treated to form a durable material, as for bookbinding, or (esp formerly) manuscripts
a manuscript, bookbinding, etc, made of or resembling this material
a type of stiff yellowish paper resembling parchment
Derived Forms
parchmenty, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French parchemin, via Latin from Greek pergamēnē, from Pergamēnos of Pergamum (where parchment was made); the form of Old French parchemin was influenced by parche leather, from Latin Parthica (pellis) Parthian (leather)
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 parchment

c.1300, parchemin (c.1200 as a surname), from Old French parchemin (11c., Old North French parcamin), from Late Latin pergamena "parchment," noun use of adjective (as in pergamena charta, Pliny), from Late Greek pergamenon "of Pergamon," from Pergamon "Pergamum" (modern Bergama), city in Mysia in Asia Minor where parchment supposedly first was adopted as a substitute for papyrus, 2c. B.C.E. Possibly influenced in Vulgar Latin by Latin parthica (pellis) "Parthian (leather)." Altered in Middle English by confusion with nouns in -ment and by influence of Medieval Latin collateral form pergamentum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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