Definitions

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

  • n. The skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a material on which to write or paint.
  • n. A written text or drawing on a sheet of this material.
  • n. Paper made in imitation of this material.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A material, made from the polished skin of a calf, sheep, goat or other animal, used like paper for writing.
  • n. A document made on such material.
  • n. A diploma (traditionally written on parchment).
  • n. Stiff paper imitating that material.
  • n. The creamy to tanned color of parchment

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The skin of a lamb, sheep, goat, young calf, or other animal, prepared for writing on. See vellum.
  • n. The envelope of the coffee grains, inside the pulp.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To convert into parchment; parchemin.
  • To cause to become hard, tough, and wrinkled, as the skin in certain diseases.
  • n. The skin of sheep or goats prepared for use as a writing-material and for other purposes.
  • n. The cartilaginous sheath or hull of the coffee-bean.
  • n. A document written on parchment.

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

  • n. skin of a sheep or goat prepared for writing on
  • n. a superior paper resembling sheepskin

Etymologies

Middle English parchemin, parchement (influenced by Medieval Latin pergamentum), from Old French parchemin, from Late Latin pergamīna, variant of Latin pergamēna, from feminine of Pergamēnus, of Pergamum, from Greek Pergamēnos, after Pergamon (Pergamum).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English parchement, from Old French parchemin, via Latin pergamīna, from Ancient Greek Περγαμηνός (Pergamēnos, "of Pergamun"), which is named for the Ancient city of Pergamon (modern Bergama) in Asia Minor, where it was invented as an expensive alternative for papyrus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • A notebook full of the finest
    Creamy rich girl parchment pages
    Slowly filled with all your passing days
    Every sacred word
    Paints a picture.

    (Calculating bimbo, by Belle and Sebastian)

    October 14, 2010