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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ He remembered the floggings which, when he was a student, had followed the botching of a papyrus.
▪ It was hurriedly written on a scrap of papyrus which had been used and scraped clean several times before.
▪ Speech became eternal, thanks to certain marks on stone and clay and papyrus.
▪ The contents of the papyrus are a commentary on the mythical poetry of Orpheus.
▪ Thus, we see a two-fold dimension within the view of the papyrus.
▪ Waterfowl and stylized papyrus flowers recur, as do simplified outlines of chariots.
▪ We could see the moon over the papyrus swamps.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Papyrus \Pa*py"rus\, n.; pl. Papyri. [L., fr. Gr. pa`pyros. See Paper.]

  1. (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.

  2. 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.

  3. A manuscript written on papyrus; esp., pl., written scrolls made of papyrus; as, the papyri of Egypt or Herculaneum.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., from Latin papyrus "the paper plant, paper made from it," from Greek papyros "any plant of the paper plant genus," said to be of Egyptian origin. Proper plural is papyri.


n. 1 (context usually uncountable English) A plant in the sedge family, (taxlink Cyperus papyrus species noshow=1), native to the Nile river valley. 2 (context usually uncountable English) A material similar to paper made from the papyrus plant. 3 (context countable English) A scroll or document written on papyrus.

  1. n. paper made from the papyrus plant by cutting it in strips and pressing it flat; used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans

  2. tall sedge of the Nile valley yielding fiber that served many purposes in historic times [syn: Egyptian paper reed, Egyptian paper rush, paper rush, paper plant, Cyperus papyrus]

  3. a document written on papyrus

  4. [also: papyri (pl)]


The word papyrus refers to a thick type of paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus. Papyrus can also refer to a document written on sheets of papyrus joined together side by side and rolled up into a scroll, an early form of a book. The plural for such documents is papyri.

Papyrus is first known to have been used in ancient Egypt (at least as far back as the First Dynasty), as the Cyperus papyrus plant was a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Sudd of Southern Sudan along with the Nile Delta of Egypt. Papyrus was also used throughout the Mediterranean region and in Kingdom of Kush. The Ancient Egyptians used papyrus as a writing material, as well as employing it commonly in the construction of other artifacts such as reed boats, mats, rope, sandals, and baskets.

Papyrus (disambiguation)

Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant.

Papyrus may also refer to:

  • Papyrus (scripting language), a scripting language for the Bethesda creation kit
  • Papyrus (comics), a Belgian comic book series
  • Papyrus (horse), a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire
  • Papyrus (software), an Open Source UML 2 tool
  • Papyrus (typeface), a widely available typeface designed by Chris Costello
  • Papyrus Design Group, a computer game developer
  • Papyrus sedge ( Cyperus papyrus), a monocot belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae
Papyrus (typeface)

Papyrus is a widely available typeface designed by Chris Costello, a graphic designer, illustrator, and web designer. Created in 1982, it was hand-drawn over a period of six months by means of calligraphy pen and textured paper. Papyrus has a number of distinctive characteristics, including rough edges, irregular curves, and high horizontal strokes in the capitals. It is often used where an antique look is desired, such as a church flyer or coffee shop.

Papyrus (software)

Papyrus is an Open Source UML 2 tool based on Eclipse and licensed under the EPL. It can either be used as a standalone tool or as an Eclipse plugin. Papyrus provides support for Domain Specific Languages and SysML. Papyrus is designed to be easily extensible.

Papyrus (comics)

Papyrus is a Belgian comic book series, written and illustrated by Lucien de Gieter. The story takes place in Ancient Egypt. It was first published in 1974 in Spirou magazine in the form of episodes.

An animated series was created in 1998 that was two seasons long (52 episodes) and shown on TFOU TV in France and in Quebec on Radio-Canada. It is airing in 2016 on Unis.

In 2000 a video game was made for Game Boy developed by Dupuis and published by Ubisoft.

Papyrus (horse)

Papyrus (1920–1941) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from spring 1922 to October 1924, he ran eighteen times and nine races. He was a leading two-year-old in 1922 and, in the following year, he gained his most important success when he won the Epsom Derby. Later that season, he gained international attention when he was sent to New York for an unsuccessful match race against the Kentucky Derby winner Zev. This was the earliest example of a British horse being sent across the Atlantic for a single race. After running four times without winning, in 1924, he was retired to stud, where he had limited success until his death in 1941.

Usage examples of "papyrus".

The long narrow hull slicing boldly through the sunset blush of lake water, the clean run of the wake streaming out behind her, the standard of house Barca hoisted at the crosstree of her masthead and her high castles fore and aft standing tall and proud above the papyrus banks on either hand.

Liber Metempsychosis Veterum Agyptiorum, edited and translated into Latin from the funeral papyri by H.

Some of their observations, methods of treatment, diagnoses and prognoses are so similar to those in the Smith Papyrus that it could be reasonably inferred that much of their knowledge was gathered from it and other scrolls of ancient wisdom held in the great libraries of Egypt.

A variety of spermicides have been used over the centuries, the earliest surviving recipe from the Egyptian Petri papyrus of 1850 B.

The uncial letters, as they are termed, appear to have arisen as writing on papyrus or vellum became common, when many of the straight lines of the capitals, in that kind of writing, gradually acquired a curved form, to facilitate their more rapid execution.

Smith, a pioneer American Egyptologist, bought the papyrus from a dealer in Luxor in 1862, but as his knowledge of Egyptian was insufficient to translate the technical language of the manuscript, he left it untranslated, and his heirs gave it to the New York Historical Society.

Here were deposited charts of the coast, and of the navigation of the Nile, which were engraved on pillars, and in aftertimes sketched out upon the Nilotic Papyrus.

Egyptians, then the letters of Clement, Bishop of Rome, others of Peter, and documents such as the Apocryphon of James, the Dialogue of the Savior, the unknown texts recorded in the Egerton Papyrus No.

The two finest kinds of papyrus were named the Augustan and the Livian.

The long narrow hull slicing boldly through the sunset blush of lake water, the clean run of the wake streaming out behind her, the standard of house Barca hoisted at the crosstree of her masthead and her high castles fore and aft standing tall and proud above the papyrus banks on either hand.

The modern German school, however, represented by Erman, Mahler, Meyer, and the American, Professor Breasted, arguing from the astronomical evidence of the Kahun Papyrus, cuts this allowance short by over 700 years, allowing only 208 years for the great gap, and proposing to pack the five Dynasties and the Hyksos domination into that time.

Hotz-Osterwald of Zurich, antiquarian and scholar, has asserted that with the exception of the carbon inks employed on papyrus, the writing pigments of antiquity and the Middle Ages have scarcely been investigated.

Three lemonwood tables were covered with open scrolls, while the fourth, with inkstand, contained pages of papyrus on which Seneca had been working.

The Egyptians fell into line, for all the popular fallacy that they ate only lepidotus, nefareh, sagbosa, lotus and papyrus.

A paper-like fabric, made from the barks of trees, was used for writing by the Longobards in the seventh century, and a coarse imitation of the Egyptian papyrus, in the form of a strong brown paper, had been made by the Romans as early as the third century.