wall·​pa·​per | \ˈwȯl-ˌpā-pər \

Definition of wallpaper 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : decorative paper for the walls of a room

2 : the background image or set of images displayed on a computer screen After becoming a member, the user gets to design a homepage with his or her choice of pictures, music, wallpaper, writing, and information making each page unique.— Fahiym Ratcliffe


wallpapered; wallpapering; wallpapers

Definition of wallpaper (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to provide the walls of (a room) with wallpaper

intransitive verb

: to put wallpaper on a wall

Examples of wallpaper in a Sentence


The wallpaper began to peel.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Milan’s bistRO Aimo e Nadia stands out with its fantastical wallpapers and curvaceous chairs. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "11 Colorful Home Gift Ideas for the Design Lover Who Has Everything," 16 Nov. 2018 The removable, shiplap wallpaper is the real focal point of the room and everything anchors around it. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "University of Kentucky Dorm Decor," 30 Aug. 2018 The painterly Dark Floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman ramps up the drama of the vignette, making the most of the nook where Kristen meets with clients. Dawn Margolis Denberg, SFChronicle.com, "1895 home is all Victorian eye candy outside and modern efficiency inside," 29 June 2018 The hotel gravitates towards the central grand staircase, with its fleur-de-lys wallpaper and a dome sprinkled with stars. Laura Goulden, Condé Nast Traveler, "34 Best Hotels in London," 26 Feb. 2018 One of the bedrooms still had avocado-green wallpaper from the period, which the designer appropriated for a geometric backsplash. Katerina Ang, WSJ, "The Return of the Luxurious Retro Kitchen," 12 Sep. 2018 One family learned this lesson the hard way, Meier adds, referencing an 1862 incident in which children from an east London home died after ingesting pigments found on the family’s wallpaper. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Arsenic-Laced Books Discovered in University Library," 3 July 2018 Seen along the way are Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Hamm, Rex, Green Army Men, Mr. Potato Head and others, not to mention the iconic big cloudy wallpaper. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney World: A look at Pixar in the parks," 25 June 2018 Windows, menu systems, and even the default desktop wallpaper will all change to a dark theme when dark mode is activated. Alex Fitzpatrick, Time, "Apple's New Mac Feature Will Be Great If You Use Your Computer at Night a Lot," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yes, that Freddie—Freddie Prinze Jr., the turn-of-the-century heartthrob whose Tiger Beat posters wallpapered your middle-school locker. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "Sarah Michelle Gellar's Second Act? Disrupting the Food Industry," 18 Apr. 2017 These simple ones can be painted or wallpapered over. Eddie Ross, House Beautiful, "How to Choose the Best Fixtures for Your Home," 21 Feb. 2018 In the film The Aviator, Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) stands in front of a bathroom wallpapered in the Martinique print. Sarah Bray, Town & Country, "A Brief History of the Palm Print," 30 Aug. 2016 According to a wall text, Smith’s own library is wallpapered with such snakes, and rooms in Smith’s house frequently appear in his artworks. Edith Newhall, Philly.com, "Art to see now: Keith Smith at PMA and minimalists at Larry Becker," 13 June 2018 When my mother didn’t die or disappear, when the house was still there, the sun set, the clocks seemed to keep the right time, I was relieved, only to wake fresh into a new morning wallpapered with my anxiety. Amanda Stern, Health.com, "I Lived With Anxiety So Debilitating It Kept Me From Going Outside—Until I Finally Received a Surprising Diagnosis," 19 June 2018 Aside from screenings, panels, cocktails and the chance to hobnob with stars, Los Angeles and New York are wallpapered with billboards, streetlight banners and bus-shelter ads ahead of Monday's start of the two-week voting period for 2018 nominees. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Zach Galifianakis serves Arby's? The insane explosion of Emmy campaigning," 6 June 2018 An archway in the dining room is wallpapered in Lions season tickets. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Father, son bond writing U.P. bars book and it becomes a cult classic," 10 June 2018 Today is a bright spot for the fans still wallpapering the internet with GIFs of Firefly, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and all other genre shows cancelled but not forgotten. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "What Brought Sense8 Back—and What Killed It in the First Place," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wallpaper.' 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 wallpaper


1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1918, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for wallpaper

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wallpaper

The first known use of wallpaper was in 1827

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Financial Definition of wallpaper

What It Is

Wallpaper is slang for a security with minimal to no market value.

How It Works

Once a security becomes worthless, its hard documentation (for example, its stock certificate) no longer has any practical function. The term "wallpaper" suggests that it be used as such.

Why It Matters

Following the Internet startup bust in the early 2000s, the stock of many web-based companies turned into wallpaper in a short span of time. The term doesn't only apply to stocks. For example, the impact of hyperinflation in Germany following World War I resulted in its currency becoming wallpaper.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of wallpaper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: thick decorative paper used to cover the walls of a room



English Language Learners Definition of wallpaper (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put wallpaper on the walls of (a room)


wall·​pa·​per | \ˈwȯl-ˌpā-pər \

Kids Definition of wallpaper

: decorative paper for covering the walls of a room

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More from Merriam-Webster on wallpaper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wallpaper

Spanish Central: Translation of wallpaper

Nglish: Translation of wallpaper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wallpaper for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wallpaper

Comments on wallpaper

What made you want to look up wallpaper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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