vel·​lum | \ ˈve-ləm How to pronounce vellum (audio) \

Definition of vellum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fine-grained unsplit lambskin, kidskin, or calfskin prepared especially for writing on or for binding books
2 : a strong cream-colored paper



Definition of vellum (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, resembling, or bound in vellum
2 : slightly rough paper with a vellum finish

Examples of vellum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Animal hides were treated and cured to make leather for clothing, belts, bedding, book bindings and vellum for reproducing religious texts. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2021 Archaeologists claim the abbey’s many monks and lay brothers raised sheep and cattle on a large scale, turning the resulting wool and leather into numerous products, including parchment and vellum for printing. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2021 Prior to the codex, reading and writing took place on scrolls—long, rolled sheets of paper (or vellum or papyrus)—and then on wax tablets, which a sharp stylus could imprint and its tapered end could erase. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2021 Before throwing away the vellum — the now-obsolete technology used to print T-shirts — Sherfey duplicated it on his computer. Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2021 Guests found their seats thanks to bilingual escort cards by Written Word Calligraphy and Design, which also designed the menus that boasted black vellum illustrated with loose florals. Shira Savada, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Nov. 2020 This model can cut through over 100 materials, from thin pieces of vellum to tough leather. Sarah Kovac, Reviewed, USA TODAY, 30 Nov. 2019 Christie’s, the auction house, is offering a first edition in its original vellum binding for sale in New York on June 12th. The Economist, 4 June 2019 The original sketch of colored pencil on vellum has been passed down for generations, Spackey said. Sarah Hui, Dallas News, 27 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But its closest real-life approximation is the 1511 Westminster Tournament, immortalized on a vellum roll. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 12 Oct. 2020 These stoneware pieces, glazed with either vellum whites or bronzy browns, evoke bowls or vases in their symmetry and roundness, their open, hollow interiors, and their use of the age-old pinch-and-coil method. Roberta Smith, Will Heinrich, Martha Schwendener And Jason Farago, New York Times, 20 Dec. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of vellum


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vellum


Middle English velym, borrowed from Anglo-French velim, veeslin, noun derivative of *veelin "of a calf," from veel "calf" + -in -ine entry 1 — more at veal entry 1

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Time Traveler for vellum

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

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Dictionary Entries Near vellum



vellum paper

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Cite this Entry

“Vellum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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