papyrus

noun
pa·​py·​rus | \ pə-ˈpī-rəs How to pronounce papyrus (audio) \
plural papyri\ pə-​ˈpī-​(ˌ)rē How to pronounce papyri (audio) , -​rī \ or papyruses

Definition of papyrus

1 : a tall perennial sedge (Cyperus papyrus) of the Nile valley
2 : the pith of the papyrus plant especially when made into strips and pressed into a material to write on
3a : a writing on papyrus
b : a written scroll made of papyrus He discovered a papyrus in the ruins.

Illustration of papyrus

Illustration of papyrus

papyrus 1

Examples of papyrus in a Sentence

an ancient text written on papyrus He discovered a papyrus in the ruins.
Recent Examples on the Web Among the other data used to determine the extent of the death: written sources, inscriptions, coinage, papyrus documents and plague genomes. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Did first plague kill half of late Roman Empire? Evidence may be exaggerated, study says," 4 Dec. 2019 The cache also holds amulets, mummy masks and papyrus scrolls covered in drawings of the goddess Tawert. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Reveal Rare Mummified Lion Cubs Unearthed in Egypt," 26 Nov. 2019 There were also strips of papyrus with depictions of the goddess Taweret depicted as a hippopotamus with the tail of a crocodile. BostonGlobe.com, "Egypt unveils mummies of lion cubs, crocodiles, birds - The Boston Globe," 24 Nov. 2019 More than 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Philodemus (or one of his scribes) painstakingly inked a history of the country’s great thinkers, called History of the Academy, on a giant scroll of papyrus. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Hidden writing revealed on ancient scroll buried in same ash as Pompeii," 4 Oct. 2019 So the task ahead of the University of Kentucky researchers is to use the sophisticated imaging technique to see through the delicate layers of papyrus--rolled over on itself hundreds of times. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Scientists hope to digitally unravel scrolls charred by Vesuvius with light 10 billion times brighter than the sun," 5 Oct. 2019 This exhibition presents some of the most spectacular archeological finds from the site — including bronzes, marble statuary and objects from the library of papyrus scrolls that give the villa its name. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Stark domestic scenes by German painter Lenz Geerk," 13 Sep. 2019 How did the Dead Sea Scrolls—documents written on parchment, papyrus and bronze— survive almost 2,000 years in caves near the Dead Sea? Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unique Salt Coating Helped Preserve 25-Foot-Long Dead Sea Scroll," 9 Sep. 2019 This exhibition presents some of the most spectacular archeological finds from the site — including bronzes, marble statuary and objects from the library of papyrus scrolls that give the villa its name. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Stark domestic scenes by German painter Lenz Geerk," 13 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'papyrus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of papyrus

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for papyrus

Middle English, from Latin — more at paper

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Time Traveler for papyrus

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The first known use of papyrus was in the 14th century

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Statistics for papyrus

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Papyrus.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papyrus. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for papyrus

papyrus

noun
How to pronounce papyrus (audio)

English Language Learners 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

papyrus

noun
pa·​py·​rus | \ pə-ˈpī-rəs How to pronounce papyrus (audio) \
plural papyruses or papyri\ -​rē , -​ˌrī \

Kids Definition of papyrus

1 : a tall African plant related to the grasses that grows especially in Egypt
2 : a material like paper used by ancient people to write on

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More from Merriam-Webster on papyrus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papyrus

Spanish Central: Translation of papyrus

Nglish: Translation of papyrus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about papyrus

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