paper, usually with printed decorative patterns in color, for pasting on and covering the walls or ceilings of rooms, hallways, etc.
any fabric, foil, vinyl material, etc., used as a wall or ceiling covering.
Computers. a design or picture in the background of the primary display screen of a graphical user interface: Personalize your tablet by changing the wallpaper.

verb (used with object)

to put wallpaper on (a wall, ceiling, etc.) or to furnish (a room, house, etc.) with wallpaper.

Origin of wallpaper

First recorded in 1820–30; wall + paper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wallpaper

hang, plaster, cover, wallpaper

Examples from the Web for wallpaper

Contemporary Examples of wallpaper

Historical Examples of wallpaper

  • It never does to have it all perfect––to the last detail of the wallpaper designs.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley

  • In the absence of art patrons, wallpaper was his only excuse for continuing as an artist.

  • The Essay continued with a criticism of the current taste in wallpaper.

  • A break in the wallpaper showed that there was a small door here.

  • Have you ever admired the pretty patterns on wallpaper of flowers and green leaves?

British Dictionary definitions for wallpaper



paper usually printed or embossed with designs for pasting onto walls and ceilings
  1. something pleasant but bland which serves as an unobtrusive background
  2. (as modifier)wallpaper music
computing a graphics file that can be displayed in certain applications behind or around the main dialogue boxes, working display areas, etc, for decoration


to cover (a surface) with wallpaper
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 wallpaper

1827, from wall (n.) + paper (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper