paper over


papered over; papering over; papers over

transitive verb

: to gloss over, explain away, or patch up (differences, disparities, etc.) especially in order to maintain a semblance of unity or agreement

Examples of paper over in a Sentence

the differences between the two factions are too great to be papered over in the name of party unity the company tried to paper over its red ink, issuing assurances that it was still financially sound
Recent Examples on the Web Luis Enrique is the latest PSG coach to be confronted with a problem with composure that resurfaces every season, especially when star striker Kylian Mbappé fails to paper over the cracks with his scoring. Jerome Pugmire, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2024 For the most part, Biden’s approach has worked well, lowering expectations on both sides and papering over differences. Asli Aydintasbas, Foreign Affairs, 11 Aug. 2023 Any fault lines between Moscow and Beijing are papered over by their leaders’ common hatred of America and desire to tilt the global balance in favor of autocracy. Daniel Twining, National Review, 23 Jan. 2024 But putting crypto into a traditional investment wrapper does not paper over the underlying risks. Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 The longer-term projections indicate that Newsom’s approach — papering over the current shortfall with actions that could worsen future problems — is very shortsighted, and Petek’s advice to legislators about focusing on the future is quite prudent. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 18 Jan. 2024 Any state-level analysis may also paper over regional differences — L.A. County’s death rate, for instance, was much higher than the San Francisco Bay Area’s. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 But the episode exposed an underlying rift that cannot be papered over with photos. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 24 Nov. 2023 That’s where collisions — both figurative and literal — are not only possible but likely, and where basic differences are impossible to paper over. Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paper over.' 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

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of paper over was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near paper over

Cite this Entry

“Paper over.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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