In theory, hypothetically, as in Considering casualties, on paper the Americans won the Vietnam War, or They are a good team on paper but not so in the field. This metaphoric expression contrasts something written down with concrete reality. [Late 1700s]
Words nearby on paper
How to use on paper in a sentence
Just the hard-on before you shoot unarmed members of the public.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
You just travel light with carry-on luggage, go to cities that you love, and get to hang out with all your friends.
It was a brick wall that we turned into the on-ramp of a highway.
Could the (thus far) timid trembling give way to a full-on, grand mal seizure?26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas|James Joiner|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Even as they gazed they saw its roof caught up, and whirled off as if it had been a scroll of paper.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
A small book, bound in full purple calf, lay half hidden in a nest of fine tissue paper on the dressing-table.Hilda Lessways|Arnold Bennett
Bits of paper blew aimlessly about, wafted by a little, feverish breeze, which rose in spasms and died away.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
The Spaniards since have substituted paper for the leaves of maize, in imitation of them.
"Buy something for your wife that-is-to-be," he said to his grand-nephew, as he handed him the folded paper.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills