n. & v.
n. 1 a material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing or drawing or printing on, or as wrapping material etc. 2 (attrib.) a made of or using paper. b flimsy like paper. 3 = NEWSPAPER. 4 a a document printed on paper. b (in pl.) documents attesting identity or credentials. c (in pl.) documents belonging to a person or relating to a matter. 5 Commerce a negotiable documents, e.g. bills of exchange. b (attrib.) recorded on paper though not existing (paper profits). 6 a a set of questions to be answered at one session in an examination. b the written answers to these. 7 = WALLPAPER. 8 an essay or dissertation, esp. one read to a learned society or published in a learned journal. 9 a piece of paper, esp. as a wrapper etc. 10 Theatr. sl. free tickets or the people admitted by them (the house is full of paper).
v.tr. 1 apply paper to, esp. decorate (a wall etc.) with wallpaper. 2 (foll. by over) a cover (a hole or blemish) with paper. b disguise or try to hide (a fault etc.). 3 Theatr. sl. fill (a theatre) by giving free passes. on paper 1 in writing. 2 in theory; to judge from written or printed evidence. paper-boy (or -girl) a boy or girl who delivers or sells newspapers. paper-chase a cross-country run in which the runners follow a trail marked by torn-up paper. paper-clip a clip of bent wire or of plastic for holding several sheets of paper together. paper-hanger a person who decorates with wallpaper, esp. professionally. paper-knife a blunt knife for opening letters etc. paper-mill a mill in which paper is made. paper money money in the form of banknotes. paper mulberry a small Asiatic tree, Broussonetia papyrifera, of the mulberry family, whose bark is used for making paper and cloth. paper nautilus see NAUTILUS 2. paper round 1 a job of regularly delivering newspapers. 2 a route taken doing this. paper tape Computing tape made of paper, esp. that on which data or instructions are represented by means of holes punched in it, for conveying to a processor etc. paper tiger an apparently threatening, but ineffectual, person or thing. paperer n. paperless adj.
[ ME f. AF papir, = OF papier f. L papyrus: see PAPYRUS ]