paper designed to destroy flies by catching them on its sticky surface or poisoning them on contact.

Origin of flypaper

First recorded in 1840–50; fly2 + paper Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flypaper

Contemporary Examples of flypaper

  • More begets more, and spending tends to stick at higher levels, which is why the phenomenon is known as “the flypaper effect.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Great Medicaid Swindle

    Nick Gillespie

    October 24, 2013

Historical Examples of flypaper

  • Its driver was the boy who had brought the flypaper and "Job."

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Well, say, a kitten with four feet stuck in the flypaper didn't have anything on me.

  • "Yes, it is; and flypaper is made from my sticky pine gum," said the tree.

  • It seemed his one best bet, the only way to get his feet out of the flypaper.

  • But he kept on and drew nearer and nearer, breathing hard and gathering flies like a flypaper.

British Dictionary definitions for flypaper



paper with a sticky and poisonous coating, usually hung from the ceiling to trap flies
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

Word Origin and History for flypaper

1851 (though the item itself is said to have become commonly available in London in 1848), from fly (n.1) + paper (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper