[vel-uh m]


calfskin, lambskin, kidskin, etc., treated for use as a writing surface.
a manuscript or the like on vellum.
a texture of paper or cloth resembling vellum.


made of or resembling vellum.
bound in vellum.

Origin of vellum

1400–50; late Middle English velum, velim < Middle French ve(e)lin of a calf. See veal, -in1
Related formshalf-vel·lum, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vellum

Historical Examples of vellum

  • Hubertine had taken up the shears to remodel one of the pieces of vellum.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Right under the 1748 of the parchment, stood on the vellum cover 1747.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • It was of parchment, much thinner than the others, which were of vellum.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • The basis of the present translation is a MS. on vellum apparently of about the year 1200.

    Y Gododin


  • He had a private printing-press, and did his own poems, on vellum.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

British Dictionary definitions for vellum



a fine parchment prepared from the skin of a calf, kid, or lamb
a work printed or written on vellum
a creamy coloured heavy paper resembling vellum


made of or resembling vellum
(of a book) bound in vellum

Word Origin for vellum

C15: from Old French velin, from velin of a calf, from veel veal
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 vellum

early 15c., from Old French velin "parchment made from calfskin," from vel, veel "calf" (see veal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper