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Definition of "papyrus" [pa•py•rus]

  • A tall, aquatic, Mediterranean sedge (Cyperus papyrus) having numerous drooping rays grouped in umbels. Also called Egyptian paper rush, paper plant. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • A document written on this material. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "papyrus" in a sentence
  • "Specially characteristic of Egypt, though not altogether peculiar to it, were the papyrus and the lotus -- the _Cyperus papyrus_ and _Nymphæa lotus_ of botanists."
  • "The Egyptian byblus or papyrus (_Cyperus papyrus_) was perhaps the most valuable of all the vegetables of the Empire."
  • "This papyrus is the property of the Egypt Exploration Fund, and Prof. Eugène Revillout, of the Egyptian Department of the Louvre, has undertaken to translate it."