tracing paper


: a semitransparent paper for tracing drawings
also : a thin paper containing a clothing pattern to be transferred to fabric (as through carbon paper) by tracing

Examples of tracing paper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Always handy with tracing paper and a pencil to guide us to a better place in our drawings. Christian Holub,, 14 June 2023 Rather than draw on that base plan, cover the base plan with tracing paper and draw on the tracing paper. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2022 An American based in Santiago, Chile, McDowell has grasped the torch passed by luminaries such as Edith Grossman; translation, to invoke Grossman’s famous metaphor, isn’t merely copying one language over another, like tracing paper, but rather an act of creation unto itself. Hamilton Cain, Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2023 After 50 hours of penciling and erasing on ever larger sheets of graph paper, Yesley inked the final drawing on sewing tracing paper and turned it over to Weinberg. Steve Maas,, 23 Sep. 2022 In one passage, recommendations for a form of tracing paper included paper rubbed with linseed oil or pork fat, the amniotic membrane of a cow’s embryo, or the pericardium of an ox. Anthony Grafton, The New York Review of Books, 7 Sep. 2022 Use a pencil, ball point pen, or tracing paper to draw the design on the pumpkin and then get carving. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 18 Aug. 2022 It’s gray tracing paper, with some instructions for the printer to print the colors. Chris Willman, Variety, 6 Sep. 2021 The exhibition’s one large painting is less engaging, but the most recent piece, made for the show, an ample installation of hanging layers of tracing paper that itemize and enlarge Ms. Sikander’s personal visual vocabulary, is effective. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, 20 July 2021

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

1824, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tracing paper was in 1824

Dictionary Entries Near tracing paper

Cite this Entry

“Tracing paper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

tracing paper

: a thin paper through which something (as a picture) may be traced
also : a thin paper for transferring a clothing pattern to cloth

More from Merriam-Webster on tracing paper

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