Meaning of PAPER in English

I. ˈpāpə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English papir, from Middle French papier, from Latin papyrus paper, papyrus, from Greek papyros papyrus



(1) : a felted sheet of usually vegetable but sometimes mineral or synthetic fibers laid down on a fine screen from a water suspension

(2) : paper in sheets 6/1000 inch or thinner — compare board

b. : a sheet or piece of paper

c. : a paper surface

the mind can never resemble a blank paper — J.H.Newman

put pen to paper

d. : something resembling true paper in form and use or in composition: as

(1) : papyrus

(2) : papier-mâché


a. : a piece of paper containing a written or printed statement (as of identity, authority, or ownership) : document , instrument — usually used in plural whether applying to one or to more than one item

naturalization papers

officer's papers

pedigree papers

were both forced to flee the country, separately and without papers — Current Biography

this policy, including the endorsements and the attached papers — Mutual of Omaha

— compare ship's papers , working papers; first papers , second papers

b. : any piece of paper containing writing or print (as a letter or memorandum) — usually used in plural

family papers

the state papers of a president

c. : a literary composition especially of brief, occasional, or fragmentary nature — usually used in plural

his collected papers — not all previously printed — are too short to be called essays — Times Literary Supplement


a. : a piece of paper shaped to serve as a receptacle or wrapper (as for tacks)

a paper of peppermints in her pocket — Flora Thompson

b. : a card or paper folder to which articles (as needles) are attached

the page he had marked with a paper of matches — Frederick Buechner

a paper of pins


a. : newspaper

daily paper

his picture would be in the papers — Mary Austin

paper carrier

paper route

paper stand

b. : publication ; especially : one resembling a newspaper in format, content, or frequency of publication

church paper

school paper

trade paper


a. : negotiable notes

assets of the bank were shot through with bad paper — W.A.White

real-estate portfolios were choked with foreclosed paper — Fortune

long-term paper

short-term paper

— compare commercial paper

b. : paper money

with a pocketful of paper to grab rich mineral and timber lands — American Guide Series: Minnesota

6. : wallpaper

pictorial papers printed from wood blocks were imported — H.S.Morrison

7. : a piece of written schoolwork:

a. : a written examination — used of either the examiner's questions or the student's answers

candidates may take … either (1) a paper in Latin; or (2) a paper in Greek — Edinburgh University Cal.

b. : a written assignment done either as an exercise in composition or as a report on an assigned topic

freshman English is a hard course to teach because of the many papers coming in weekly

our history paper is due next week

term paper

— compare essay , thesis


a. : a composition of informational nature (as on a scientific or historical topic) for reading before a group

do a paper for our reading circle — Agnes S. Turnbull

also : its presentation

all of these papers were extremely well attended and received — Veterinary Record

b. : a similar composition written for publication (as in a journal or in the form of a monograph) or circulation


a. : tickets

the paper at the box office is all sold — Barnaby Conrad

especially : free passes

b. : persons admitted free (as to a theater performance)

most of the first-night audience was paper

saw at once that the house was filled with paper — James Joyce

10. : curlpaper — usually used in plural

11. slang : marked playing cards

12. slang : bills, posters, or circulars distributed to advertise something (as an appearance of a traveling show)

the circus fell a couple of days behind its paper

13. : paper work

by paper and red tape — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude

- off paper

- on paper

II. transitive verb

( papered ; papered ; papering -p(ə)riŋ ; papers )

1. archaic : to put down on paper : make a memorandum of : describe in writing

2. : to fold or inclose in or attach to paper

paper butterflies

paper pins up

3. : to affix paper to : cover or line with paper ; especially : to furnish with wallpaper

paper a room

4. : sandpaper

paper down until only sufficient color is left to lighten the wood — C.H.Hayward

5. : to supply with an audience augmented by giving out many free tickets

paper a theater for an opening night

6. : to cover (an area) with advertising bills, posters, or circulars (as for a circus engagement or a boxing match)

7. slang : to cover with worthless checks or counterfeit currency

left after papering the country with bad checks — H.L.Davis

can get papered like a circus billboard if you don't know the man you are doing black-market business with — David Dodge

8. : to gloss over, explain away, or patch up (major differences) so as to provide a semblance of amity or agreement — used especially in the phrase paper over the cracks

the meeting … has done little to paper over the cracks between the member states — Economist

intransitive verb

: to hang wallpaper

passion for perpetual painting and papering — Mary H. Vorse

III. adjective


a. : made wholly or almost wholly of paper, paperboard, or papier-mâché

paper bag

paper towel

paper napkin

paper mulch

paper carton

paper plate

b. : like paper (as in texture, strength, or thickness) : papery


a. : carried on by the exchange of written or printed matter : consisting of written communications or printed matter

paper friendships

paper wars

paper bullets

b. : involving or involved with paper work : clerical , desk

those paper procedures by which so much of the business of the Services is transacted — H.W.Dodds

the fighting navy and the paper navy — Frederic Wakeman

the general was transferred to a paper command


a. : authorized or decreed but not effectively enforced : planned but not put into execution : proffered but not fulfilled : nominal

paper blockade

paper promises

the paper strength of an army

a project still in the paper stage


(1) : computed or computable as the result of hypothetical business transactions

paper losses from selling the stocks too soon

(2) : figured on paper without involving actual money or credit transfers

paper surplus

(3) : prospective but unrealized

basing hopes for expansion on paper profits

4. : composed largely of persons admitted by free passes

paper audience

paper house

5. : issued as paper currency

paper mark

paper peso

6. : paperback

a paper edition

paper books

7. of thin fabrics : finished with a crisp smooth surface similar to that of paper

paper taffeta

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.