papyrus

noun
pa·​py·​rus | \ pə-ˈpī-rəs How to pronounce papyrus (audio) \
plural papyri\ pə-​ˈpī-​(ˌ)rē How to pronounce papyrus (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 The team of Dominican and Egyptian archaeologists also found two mummies wrapped in gilded cartonnage, which is plastered layers of papyrus or linen, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Fox News, "Archaeologists in Egypt uncover 2,000-year-old mummy with gold tongue," 5 Feb. 2021 The Da Vinci Code popularized the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, Harvard historian Karen L. King announced the discovery of a 1,600-year-old papyrus that seemingly supported the novel’s much-maligned premise. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Ten Best History Books of 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 In 2012, a religion scholar announced a discovery: an ancient papyrus fragment that suggested that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene may have been married. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "The best nonfiction books of 2020 offer wisdom and insight," 9 Dec. 2020 In 2012, a religion scholar announced a discovery: an ancient papyrus fragment that suggested that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene may have been married. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "The best nonfiction books of 2020 offer wisdom and insight," 9 Dec. 2020 In 2012, a religion scholar announced a discovery: an ancient papyrus fragment that suggested that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene may have been married. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "The best nonfiction books of 2020 offer wisdom and insight," 9 Dec. 2020 In 2012, a religion scholar announced a discovery: an ancient papyrus fragment that suggested that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene may have been married. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "The best nonfiction books of 2020 offer wisdom and insight," 9 Dec. 2020 And our results are supported by contemporary evidence of ink production facilities in ancient Egypt from a magical spell inscribed on a Greek alchemical papyrus, which dates to the third century AD. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "High-energy X-rays reveal the secrets of ancient Egyptian inks," 2 Dec. 2020 Shortly after, King publicly stated that the papyrus was probably a forgery. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Ten Best History Books of 2020," 1 Dec. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Papyrus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papyrus. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for papyrus

papyrus

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on papyrus

Nglish: Translation of papyrus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about papyrus

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