Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

papyrus

play
noun pa·py·rus \pə-ˈpī-rəs\

Simple Definition of papyrus

  • : a tall plant that is like grass and that grows in marshes especially in Egypt

  • : paper made from papyrus that was used in ancient times

  • : a piece of paper made from papyrus that has writing on it

Full Definition of papyrus

plural pa·py·ri play \-ˈpī-(ˌ)rē, -rī\ or pa·py·rus·es

  1. 1 :  a tall perennial sedge (Cyperus papyrus) of the Nile valley

  2. 2 :  the pith of the papyrus plant especially when made into strips and pressed into a material to write on

  3. 3 a :  a writing on papyrus b :  a written scroll made of papyrus

Examples of papyrus

  1. an ancient text written on papyrus

  2. He discovered a papyrus in the ruins.



Illustration of papyrus

Origin of papyrus

Middle English, from Latin — more at paper


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Paper Terms

Rhymes with papyrus


Learn More about papyrus


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ