|Origin:||papier, from Latin papyrus; PAPYRUS|
pa‧per1 S1 W1
material in the form of thin sheets that is used for writing on, wrapping things etc
piece/sheet of paper
Write it down on a piece of paper.
scrap/slip of paper (=a small piece of paper)
a box wrapped in plain brown paper
flowers made from tissue paper (=very light thin paper)
writing/wrapping paper! When paper refers to the material that you write on, it is an uncountable noun. Do not say that something is written on 'a paper'. Say that it is written on a piece of paper.
sheets of writing paper
Have you seen today's paper?
You'll read about it in tomorrow's papers.
The story was all over the Sunday papers.
Why don't you put an ad in the local paper?
pieces of paper with writing on them that you use in your work, at meetings etc:
I left some important papers in my briefcase.
documents and letters concerning someone's private or public life:
While I was organizing Simon's papers I came across his diaries.
documents concerning a divorce
if you put ideas or information on paper, you write them down
put/get something down on paper
You need to get some of these thoughts down on paper.
if something seems true on paper, it seems to be true as an idea, but may not be true in a real situation [= in theory]:
It's a nice idea on paper, but you'll never get it to work.
a set of printed questions used as an examination in a particular subject, and the answers people write:
examination[countable] British English
an exam paper
I have a stack of papers to mark.
history/French etc paper
The geography paper was really easy.
a piece of writing or a talk on a particular subject by someone who has made a study of it:
speech/piece of writing[countable]
a scientific paper
a paper on psychology
Professor Usborne gave a paper on recent developments in his field.
a piece of writing that is done as part of a course at school or university [= essay]
piece of schoolwork[countable] especially American English
a paper on the Civil War
a report prepared by a government or committee on a question they have been considering or a proposal for changes in the law:
We will publish a discussion paper on the future of the BBC.
the 1998 White Paper on political reform
a working paper (=a report that is not final) on funding the Health Service
paper for covering and decorating the walls of a room [= wallpaper]:
for walls[uncountable and countable]TBDH
a floral paper
stocks and shares that can be bought and sold on a financial market
financial[uncountable and countable]
soft thin paper used for cleaning yourself after you have used the toilet [= toilet paper, toilet roll]
if something such as a contract is not worth the paper it is written on, it has no value because whatever is promised in it will not happen