verb (used with object)
- to write or set down on paper.
- to describe in writing.
verb (used without object)
- in written or printed form.
- in theory rather than in practice.
- existing only in a preliminary state; in a plan or design: The university building program is still only on paper.
Origin of paper
Related formspa·per·less, adjectivepa·per·like, adjectivere·pa·per, verb (used with object)un·pa·pered, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for on paper
- a set of written examination questions
- the student's answers
Derived Formspaperer, noun
Word Origin for paper
Idioms and Phrases with on paper (1 of 2)
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]
Idioms and Phrases with on paper (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with paper
- paper over
- on paper
- push paper
- walking papers