noun \pə-ˈpī-rəs\

: 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

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

Full Definition of PAPYRUS

:  a tall perennial sedge (Cyperus papyrus) of the Nile valley
:  the pith of the papyrus plant especially when made into strips and pressed into a material to write on
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

folio, palimpsest, quire, ream

Rhymes with PAPYRUS


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Writing material of ancient times and the plant from which it comes, Cyperus papyrus (sedge family), also called paper plant. This grasslike aquatic plant has woody, bluntly triangular stems and grows to about 15 ft (4.6 m) high in quietly flowing water up to 3 ft (90 cm) deep. The ancient Egyptians used the stem of the plant to make sails, cloth, mats, cords, and principally paper. Paper made from papyrus was the chief writing material in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In the 8th–9th century AD, other plant fibres replaced papyrus in the manufacture of paper. The plant is now often used as a pool ornamental in warm areas or in conservatories.


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