paper clip


: a length of wire bent into flat loops that is used to hold papers together

Examples of paper clip in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Matchsticks are the bars of fire escapes, a pushpin is a light bulb, a paper clip fixed just right to a Popsicle stick end is a padlock, plastic beads are wheels on a dumpster. Liza Weisstuch, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Thread the tail of the slipknot (from Step 4) through the remaining hole, and knot a paper clip around the end to hold it in place. Rachelle Doorley, Parents, 16 Aug. 2023 Place large items, like files or notebooks, on top, and small bowls of binder clips, paper clips, or other small items underneath. Grace Gallagher, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Aug. 2023 Contractors deliver everything from paper clips to medications. Steve Brozak, STAT, 16 Aug. 2023 The idea is that an AI system tasked with producing as many paper clips as possible might go to extraordinary lengths to find raw materials, like destroying factories and causing car accidents. Nir Eisikovits, Fortune, 7 July 2023 Another option is to bend a paper clip into an S shape and then insert one end into the stem end of the cherry to hook and pull out the pit. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 13 July 2023 This scenario, though unlikely, is worrying enough that top AI developers are getting into a regular habit of issuing open letters warning that the technology might, just maybe, extinguish all human life—if not via paper clips then…well, some other way, TBD. Maya Singer, Vogue, 12 July 2023 That's like 4 paper clips in something the size of a washing machine. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 27 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paper clip.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paper clip was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near paper clip

Cite this Entry

“Paper clip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

paper clip

: a length of wire bent into flat loops that is used to hold papers together
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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