Idioms

    on paper,
    1. in written or printed form.
    2. in theory rather than in practice.
    3. existing only in a preliminary state; in a plan or design: The university building program is still only on paper.

Origin of paper

1325–75; Middle English papire < Latin papȳrus papyrus
Related formspa·per·less, adjectivepa·per·like, adjectivere·pa·per, verb (used with object)un·pa·pered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for paper over (1 of 2)

paper over


verb

(tr, adverb) to conceal (something controversial or unpleasant)

British Dictionary definitions for paper over (2 of 2)

paper

/ (ˈpeɪpə) /

noun

adjective

verb

See also paper over
Derived Formspaperer, noun

Word Origin for paper

C14: from Latin papyrus
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

Idioms and Phrases with paper over (1 of 2)

paper over


Also, paper over the cracks. Repair superficially, conceal, especially flaws. For example, He used some accounting gimmicks to paper over a deficit, or It was hardly a perfect settlement, but they decided to paper over the cracks. The German statesman Otto von Bismarck first used this analogy in a letter in 1865, and the first recorded example in English, in 1910, referred to it. The allusion is to covering cracked plaster with wallpaper, thereby improving its appearance but not the underlying defect.

Idioms and Phrases with paper over (2 of 2)

paper


In addition to the idiom beginning with paper

  • paper over

also see:

  • 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.