Paper is the thin, flexible material you doodle on during math class. It's also paper that you fold carefully into the shape of an airplane before launching it across the classroom.

If you've ever ripped a sheet of paper or crumpled one into a ball, it might be hard to believe that it comes from trees — wood pulp, to be exact. The history of paper is long, dating as far back as the second century BCE in China. Paper can also mean "newspaper," or "essay," and as a verb it means "cover with paper." You might, for example, decide to paper your bedroom walls with colorful pieces of paper.

Primary Meanings of paper

a material made of cellulose pulp derived mainly from wood or rags or certain grasses
cover with paper
an essay (especially one written as an assignment)
Full Definitions of paper

n a material made of cellulose pulp derived mainly from wood or rags or certain grasses

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one of a set of small pieces of stiff paper marked in various ways and used for playing games or for telling fortunes
small pieces or streamers of colored paper that are thrown around on festive occasions (as at a wedding)
piece of paper, sheet, sheet of paper
paper used for writing or printing
art paper
a high-quality paper (usually having a filler of china clay)
blotter, blotting paper
absorbent paper used to dry ink
blueprint paper
sensitized paper used to make blueprints
carbon, carbon paper
a thin paper coated on one side with a dark waxy substance (often containing carbon); used to transfer characters from the original to an under sheet of paper
cardboard, composition board
a stiff moderately thick paper
cartridge paper
paper for making cartridge cases
a small piece of paper that is supposed to be removed when a hole is punched in a card or paper tape
computer paper
paper folded to permit continuous printing controlled by a computer
construction paper
paper suitable for drawing and making cutouts
crepe, crepe paper
paper with a crinkled texture; usually colored and used for decorations
drawing paper
paper that is specially prepared for use in drafting
filter paper
a porous unsized paper used for filtering
paper that is poisoned or coated with a sticky substance to kill flies
graph paper
paper that has lines to permit drawing graphs
greaseproof paper
paper that is impermeable to oil or grease; used in cooking
linen, linen paper
a high-quality paper made of linen fibers or with a linen finish
litmus paper
unsized paper treated with litmus for use as an acid-base indicator
manifold, manifold paper
a lightweight paper used with carbon paper to make multiple copies
manila, manila paper, manilla, manilla paper
a strong paper or thin cardboard with a smooth light brown finish made from e.g. Manila hemp
music paper, score paper
paper with lines appropriate for writing music
newspaper, newsprint
cheap paper made from wood pulp and used for printing newspapers
paper that has been made translucent and waterproof by soaking in oil
india paper
a thin tough opaque paper used in fine books
pad, pad of paper, tablet
a number of sheets of paper fastened together along one edge
paper tape
a long narrow strip of paper
paper toweling
absorbent paper used as toweling
paper-mache, papier-mache
a substance made from paper pulp that can be molded when wet and painted when dry
paper made from the papyrus plant by cutting it in strips and pressing it flat; used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans
a superior paper resembling sheepskin
rice paper
a thin delicate material resembling paper; made from the rice-paper tree
roofing paper, tar paper
a heavy paper impregnated with tar and used as part of a roof for waterproofing
ticker tape
a continuous thin ribbon of paper on which stock quotes are written
tissue, tissue paper
a soft thin (usually translucent) paper
tracing paper
a semitransparent paper that is used for tracing drawings
transfer paper
a paper that is coated with a preparation for transferring a design to another surface
a decorative paper for the walls of rooms
waste paper
paper discarded after use
wax paper
paper that has been waterproofed by treatment with wax or paraffin
wrapping paper
a tough paper used for wrapping
writing paper
paper material made into thin sheets that are sized to take ink; used for writing correspondence and manuscripts
decal, decalcomania
either a design that is fixed to some surface or a paper bearing the design which is to be transferred to the surface
playing card
one of a pack of cards that are used to play card games
Hollerith card, punch card, punched card
a card on which data can be recorded in the form of punched holes
slip, slip of paper
a small sheet of paper
tarot, tarot card
any of a set of (usually 72) cards that include 22 cards representing virtues and vices and death and fortune etc.; used by fortunetellers
trading card
a card with a picture on it; collected and traded by children
a sheet with several pages printed on it; it folds to page size and is bound with other signatures to form a book
folio, leaf
a sheet of any written or printed material (especially in a manuscript or book)
tear sheet
a sheet that can be easily torn out of a publication
letter paper, stationery
paper cut to an appropriate size for writing letters; usually with matching envelopes
writing paper intended for writing short notes or letters
a size of paper used especially in Britain
style sheet
a sheet summarizing the editorial conventions to be followed in preparing text for publication
a sheet of paper with multiple columns; used by an accountant to assemble figures for financial statements
revenue stamp, stamp
a small piece of adhesive paper that is put on an object to show that a government tax has been paid
rag paper
paper made partly or wholly from rags
binder board, binder's board
a cardboard used by bookbinders to make covers for books
bond, bond paper
a superior quality of strong durable white writing paper; originally made for printing documents
cartridge paper
thick white paper for pencil and ink drawings
thin cardboard, usually rectangular
corrugated board, corrugated cardboard
cardboard with corrugations (can be glued to flat cardboard on one or both sides)
paperboard, poster board, posterboard
a cardboard suitable for making posters
stiff cardboard made by pasting together layers of paper
a coarse yellow cardboard made of straw pulp
cigarette paper, rolling paper
a strong tissue paper that burns evenly and is sufficiently porous to control the burning of the tobacco in a cigarette
dimple, dimpled chad, pregnant chad
a chad that has been punched or dimpled but all four corners are still attached
facial tissue
tissue paper suitable for use on the face
kraft, kraft paper
strong wrapping paper made from pulp processed with a sulfur solution
butcher paper
a strong wrapping paper that resists penetration by blood or meat fluids
gift wrap
attractive wrapping paper suitable for wrapping gifts
hanging chad
a chad that is incompletely removed and hanging by one corner
a piece of soft absorbent paper (usually two or more thin layers) used as a disposable handkerchief
ledger paper
a durable writing paper used in record books and business ledgers
laid paper
writing paper having a watermark of fine lines running across the grain
wove paper
writing paper having a very faint mesh pattern
letter paper
writing paper for use in writing correspondence
message pad, writing pad
a pad of paper on which messages can be written
ola, olla
leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper
a pad of paper for keeping notes
swinging chad
a chad that is incompletely removed and still attached at two corners
bathroom tissue, toilet paper, toilet tissue
a soft thin absorbent paper for use in toilets
a chad that is incompletely removed and still attached at three corners
typewriter paper, typing paper
writing paper suitable for use in a typewriter
a heavy creamy-colored paper resembling parchment
Type of:
material, stuff
the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

n a medium for written communication

“the notion of an office running without paper is absurd”
Type of:
a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information

v cover with paper

paper the box”
Type of:
provide with a covering or cause to be covered

v cover with wallpaper

Type of:
provide with a covering or cause to be covered

n an essay (especially one written as an assignment)

composition, report, theme
term paper
a composition intended to indicate a student's progress during a school term
Type of:
an analytic or interpretive literary composition

n a scholarly article describing the results of observations or stating hypotheses

“he has written many scientific papers
Type of:
nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication

n a daily or weekly publication on folded sheets; contains news and articles and advertisements

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a newspaper that is published every day
a newspaper or official journal
school newspaper, school paper
a newspaper written and published by students in a school
rag, sheet, tabloid
newspaper with half-size pages
Type of:
press, public press
the print media responsible for gathering and publishing news in the form of newspapers or magazines

n the physical object that is the product of a newspaper publisher

Type of:
product, production
an artifact that has been created by someone or some process

n a business firm that publishes newspapers

newspaper, newspaper publisher
Type of:
publisher, publishing company, publishing firm, publishing house
a firm in the publishing business

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