palimpsest


pa·limp·sest

noun \ˈpa-ləm(p)-ˌsest, pə-ˈlim(p)-\

: a very old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing

: something that has changed over time and shows evidence of that change

Full Definition of PALIMPSEST

1
:  writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased
2
:  something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface <Canada … is a palimpsest, an overlay of classes and generations — Margaret Atwood>

Examples of PALIMPSEST

  1. The ancient city is an architectural palimpsest.

Origin of PALIMPSEST

Latin palimpsestus, from Greek palimpsēstos scraped again, from palin + psēn to rub, scrape; akin to Sanskrit psāti, babhasti he chews
First Known Use: 1825

Other Paper Terms

folio, quire, ream

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: palimpsestic
Previous Word in the Dictionary: palimony
All Words Near: palimpsest

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up palimpsest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More