from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tall, aquatic, Mediterranean sedge (Cyperus papyrus) having numerous drooping rays grouped in umbels. Also called Egyptian paper rush, paper plant.
  • n. A material on which to write made from the pith or the stems of this sedge, used especially by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
  • n. A document written on this material.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant in the sedge family, Cyperus papyrus, native to the Nile river valley.
  • n. A material similar to paper made from the papyrus plant.
  • n. A scroll or document written on papyrus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tall rushlike plant (Cyperus Papyrus) of the Sedge family, formerly growing in Egypt, and now found in Abyssinia, Syria, Sicily, etc. The stem is triangular and about an inch thick.
  • n. The material upon which the ancient Egyptians wrote. It was formed by cutting the stem of the plant into thin longitudinal slices, which were gummed together and pressed.
  • n. A manuscript written on papyrus; esp., pl., written scrolls made of papyrus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The paper -reed or -rush, Cyperus Papyrus (Papyrus antiquorum), abounding on marshy river-banks in Abyssinia, Palestine, and Sicily, now almost extinct in Egypt.
  • n. An ancient scroll, book, or other document, or a fragment of the same, written on papyrus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. paper made from the papyrus plant by cutting it in strips and pressing it flat; used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans
  • n. a document written on papyrus
  • n. tall sedge of the Nile valley yielding fiber that served many purposes in historic times


Middle English papirus, from Latin papȳrus, from Greek papūros.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin papȳrus, from Ancient Greek πάπυρος (papuros), of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)


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