WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
pa•per /ˈpeɪpɚ/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
v. [~ + object]
- Printing a substance made from wood pulp, rags, or other fiber, used to write or print on, for wrapping, etc.:[uncountable]a few sheets of paper; wrapping paper.
- Printing a piece, sheet, or leaf of this:[countable]a few papers lying on the floor.
- Printing a written or printed document or the like:[countable]He went through the papers on his desk.
- a newspaper or journal:[countable]the tabloid papers.
- [countable] an essay, article, or scholarly piece of writing, usually intended to be published.
- a written piece of schoolwork, as a composition or report:[countable]The sixth-grade class had to do a paper on a science project.
- Often, papers. [plural] a document establishing a person's identity, status, or the like:citizenship papers.
- [uncountable] money in the form of bills.
- [uncountable] wallpaper.
adj. [before a noun]
- to cover with wallpaper:They papered the walls with a beautiful pattern.
- to line or cover with paper:to paper the shelves.
- paper over, to conceal or cover up (disagreement, trouble, etc.), esp. to keep up a false appearance of agreement: [~ + over + object]tried to paper over their marital problems for the children's sake.[~ + object + over]The conflict is obvious now; you can't paper it over anymore.
- made of paper:a paper bag.
- existing on paper only;
claimed to exist (as on official documents) but not real:the company's paper profits.
pa•per•er, n. [countable]
- Idiomson paper:
- Idiomsin written or printed form:Let's get down on paper everything that happened.
- Idiomsclaimed to exist but not real;
existing in theory only:The plan looks good on paper, but will it work?
(pā′pər),USA pronunciation n.
- Printinga 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.
- Printinga piece, sheet, or leaf of this.
- Printingsomething resembling this substance, as papyrus.
- Printinga written or printed document or the like.
- 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.
- Naval Termspapers, a. [Naut.]See ship's papers. b. See rolling paper.
- See toilet paper.
- 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 Termsa free pass to an entertainment.
- on paper:
- Idiomsin written or printed form.
- Idiomsin theory rather than in practice.
- Idiomsexisting only in a preliminary state;
in a plan or design:The university building program is still only on paper.
- 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, esp. those requiring one to comply with certain technical procedures, as a means of legal harassment:He papered the plaintiff to force a settlement.
- Slang Termsto fill (a theater or the like) with spectators by giving away free tickets or passes.
- [Archaic.]a. to write or set down on paper.b. to describe in writing.
- to apply wallpaper to walls.
- 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.
- made of paper or paperlike material:a paper bag.
thin, flimsy, or frail.
- of, pertaining to, or noting routine clerical duties.
- pertaining to or carried on by means of letters, articles, books, etc.:a paper war.
- Printingwritten 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. See table under wedding anniversary.
- Slang Termsincluding many patrons admitted on free passes, as an audience for a theatrical performance:It's a paper house tonight.
- Latin papȳrus papyrus
- Middle English papire 1325–75
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
paper /ˈpeɪpə/ n
- 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
- 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
- See newspaper, wallpaper
- See white paper, green paper
- 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
- See commercial paper
- slang a free ticket
- on paper ⇒ in theory, as opposed to fact
- 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
See also paper overEtymology: 14th Century: from Latin papyrusˈpaperer n
- to cover (walls) with wallpaper
- (transitive) to cover or furnish with paper
- (transitive) slang to fill (a performance) by giving away free tickets (esp in the phrase paper the house)
'on paper' also found in these entries: