Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An aquatic sedge (Cyperus papyrus) native to Africa, having a tall stem and an umbellate inflorescence with numerous arching rays.
  • noun A material made from the pith or the stems of this sedge, used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans especially to write or paint on.
  • noun A document written on this material.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A manuscript written on papyrus; esp., pl., written scrolls made of papyrus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English papirus, from Latin papȳrus, from Greek papūros.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin papȳrus, from Ancient Greek πάπυρος (papuros), of unknown origin.

Examples

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