a substance made from wood pulp, rags, straw, or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used to bear writing or printing, for wrapping things, etc.
a piece, sheet, or leaf of this.
something resembling this substance, as papyrus.
a written or printed document or the like.
stationery; writing paper.
a newspaper or journal.
an essay, article, or dissertation on a particular topic: a paper on early Mayan artifacts.
Often papers. a document establishing or verifying identity, status, or the like: citizenship papers.
negotiable notes, bills, etc., as commercial paper or paper money: Only silver, please, no paper.
a promissory note.
Nautical. ship's papers.
a sheet or card of paper with pins or needles stuck through it in rows.
a set of questions for an examination, an individual set of written answers to them, or any written piece of schoolwork.
Slang. a free pass to an entertainment.
to cover with wallpaper or apply wallpaper to: They papered the bedroom last summer.
to line or cover with paper.
to distribute handbills, posters, etc., throughout: to paper a neighborhood with campaign literature.
to fold, enclose, or wrap in paper.
to supply with paper.
Informal. to deluge with documents, especially those requiring one to comply with certain technical procedures, as a means of legal harassment: He papered the plaintiff to force a settlement.
Slang. to fill (a theater or the like) with spectators by giving away free tickets or passes.
to write or set down on paper.
to describe in writing.
to apply wallpaper to walls.
made of paper or paperlike material: a paper bag.
paperlike; thin, flimsy, or frail.
of, relating to, or noting routine clerical duties.
pertaining to or carried on by means of letters, articles, books, etc.: a paper war.
written or printed on paper.
existing in theory or principle only and not in reality: paper profits.
indicating the first event of a series, as a wedding anniversary.
Slang. including many patrons admitted on free passes, as an audience for a theatrical performance: It's a paper house tonight.
paper over, to patch up or attempt to conceal (a difference, disagreement, etc.) so as to preserve a friendship, present a unified opinion, etc.: to paper over a dispute.
Idioms about paper
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.
- pa·per·less, adjective
- pa·per·like, adjective
- re·pa·per, verb (used with object)
- un·pa·pered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use paper in a sentence
Depending on where you live, you might vote on a screen, a punchcard, or a piece of paper.
I began looking at Metrc, and I was very surprised to find that growers were writing down barcodes on paper.Canix aims to ease cannabis cultivators’ regulatory bookkeeping | Matt Burns | September 17, 2020 | TechCrunch
They must acquire large volumes of specialized envelopes and paper.
When I co-authored that paper, I didn’t think that this could happen.A New Algorithm for Graph Crossings, Hiding in Plain Sight | Stephanie DeMarco | September 15, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
His paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the next year went further by showing that epigenetic changes are responsible for this training.‘Trained Immunity’ Offers Hope in Fight Against Coronavirus | Esther Landhuis | September 14, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
Back when Sam went upstate, job searches required nothing more than a typewriter, some paper, and the classifieds.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside | Justin Rohrlich | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
“We would just as soon stay away from a group that will create controversy,” the Cubs general manager Sam Bernabe told the paper.
The reality TV mogul bared her butt—and everything else, too—for paper Magazine in a spread that sent Twitter into a tizzy.
Fold the parchment paper with the dry ingredients in half and pour into the stand mixer.Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Sticky Toffee Pudding | Carla Hall | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on parchment or wax paper.Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Sticky Toffee Pudding | Carla Hall | December 28, 2014 | THE 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.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
"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
British Dictionary definitions for paper
a substance made from cellulose fibres derived from rags, wood, etc, often with other additives, and formed into flat thin sheets suitable for writing on, decorating walls, wrapping, etc: Related adjective: papyraceous
a single piece of such material, esp if written or printed on
(usually plural) documents for establishing the identity of the bearer; credentials
Also called: ship's papers (plural) official documents relating to the ownership, cargo, etc, of a ship
(plural) collected diaries, letters, etc
a lecture or short published treatise on a specific subject
a short essay, as by a student
a set of written examination questions
the student's answers
commerce See commercial paper
theatre slang a free ticket
on paper in theory, as opposed to fact: it was a good idea on paper, but failed in practice
made of paper: paper cups do not last long
thin like paper: paper walls
(prenominal) existing only as recorded on paper but not yet in practice: paper profits; paper expenditure
taking place in writing: paper battles
to cover (walls) with wallpaper
(tr) to cover or furnish with paper
(tr) theatre slang to fill (a performance) by giving away free tickets (esp in the phrase paper the house)
- See also paper over
- paperer, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with paper
In addition to the idiom beginning with paper
- paper over
- on paper
- push paper
- walking papers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.