Pronunciation: (pā'pur),[key] —n. 1. a substance made from wood pulp, rags, straw, or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used to bear writing or printing, for wrapping things, etc.
2. a piece, sheet, or leaf of this.
3. something resembling this substance, as papyrus.
4. a written or printed document or the like.
5. stationery; writing paper.
6. a newspaper or journal.
7. an essay, article, or dissertation on a particular topic: a paper on early Mayan artifacts. 8. Often, papers. a document establishing or verifying identity, status, or the like: citizenship papers. 9. negotiable notes, bills, etc., as commercial paper or paper money: Only silver, please, no paper. 10. a promissory note.
11. papers, a. Naut.See ship's papers. b. See rolling paper. 12. wallpaper.
13. See toilet paper. 14. a sheet or card of paper with pins or needles stuck through it in rows.
15. a set of questions for an examination, an individual set of written answers to them, or any written piece of schoolwork.
16. Slang.a free pass to an entertainment.
17. on paper, a. in written or printed form.
b. in theory rather than in practice.
c. existing only in a preliminary state; in a plan or design: The university building program is still only on paper.
—v.t. 1. to cover with wallpaper or apply wallpaper to: They papered the bedroom last summer. 2. to line or cover with paper.
3. to distribute handbills, posters, etc., throughout: to paper a neighborhood with campaign literature. 4. to fold, enclose, or wrap in paper.
5. to supply with paper.
6. Informal.to deluge with documents, esp. those requiring one to comply with certain technical procedures, as a means of legal harassment: He papered the plaintiff to force a settlement. 7. Slang.to fill (a theater or the like) with spectators by giving away free tickets or passes.
8. Archaic. a. to write or set down on paper.
b. to describe in writing.
—v.i. 1. to apply wallpaper to walls.
2. paper over, to patch up or attempt to conceal (a difference, disagreement, etc.) so as to preserve a friendship, present a unified opinion, etc.: to paper over a dispute.
—adj. 1. made of paper or paperlike material: a paper bag. 2. paperlike; thin, flimsy, or frail.
3. of, pertaining to, or noting routine clerical duties.
4. pertaining to or carried on by means of letters, articles, books, etc.: a paper war. 5. written or printed on paper.
6. existing in theory or principle only and not in reality: paper profits. 7. indicating the first event of a series, as a wedding anniversary. See table under wedding anniversary. 8. Slang.including many patrons admitted on free passes, as an audience for a theatrical performance: It's a paper house tonight.