on paper
Paper Pa"per (p[=a]"p[~e]r), n. [F. papier, fr. L. papyrus papyrus, from which the Egyptians made a kind of paper, Gr. pa`pyros. Cf. {Papyrus}.] 1. A substance in the form of thin sheets or leaves intended to be written or printed on, or to be used in wrapping. It is made of rags, straw, bark, wood, or other fibrous material, which is first reduced to pulp, then molded, pressed, and dried. [1913 Webster]

2. A sheet, leaf, or piece of such substance. [1913 Webster]

3. A printed or written instrument; a document, essay, or the like; a writing; as, a paper read before a scientific society. [1913 Webster]

They brought a paper to me to be signed. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. A printed sheet appearing periodically; a newspaper; a journal; as, a daily paper. [1913 Webster]

5. Negotiable evidences of indebtedness; notes; bills of exchange, and the like; as, the bank holds a large amount of his paper. [1913 Webster]

6. Decorated hangings or coverings for walls, made of paper. See {Paper hangings}, below. [1913 Webster]

7. A paper containing (usually) a definite quantity; as, a paper of pins, tacks, opium, etc. [1913 Webster]

8. A medicinal preparation spread upon paper, intended for external application; as, cantharides paper. [1913 Webster]

9. pl. Documents establishing a person's identity, or status, or attesting to some right, such as the right to drive a vehicle; as, the border guard asked for his papers. [PJC]

Note: Paper is manufactured in sheets, the trade names of which, together with the regular sizes in inches, are shown in the following table. But paper makers vary the size somewhat. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

Note: In the manufacture of books, etc., a sheet, of whatever size originally, is termed, when folded once, a folio; folded twice, a quarto, or 4to; three times, an octavo, or 8vo; four times, a sextodecimo, or 16mo; five times, a 32mo; three times, with an offcut folded twice and set in, a duodecimo, or 12mo; four times, with an offcut folded three times and set in, a 24mo. [1913 Webster]

Note: Paper is often used adjectively or in combination, having commonly an obvious signification; as, paper cutter or paper-cutter; paper knife, paper-knife, or paperknife; paper maker, paper-maker, or papermaker; paper mill or paper-mill; paper weight, paper-weight, or paperweight, etc. [1913 Webster]

{Business paper}, checks, notes, drafts, etc., given in payment of actual indebtedness; -- opposed to accommodation paper.

{Fly paper}, paper covered with a sticky preparation, -- used for catching flies.

{Laid paper}. See under {Laid}.

{Paper birch} (Bot.), the canoe birch tree ({Betula papyracea}).

{Paper blockade}, an ineffective blockade, as by a weak naval force.

{Paper boat} (Naut.), a boat made of water-proof paper.

{Paper car wheel} (Railroad), a car wheel having a steel tire, and a center formed of compressed paper held between two plate-iron disks. --Forney.

{Paper credit}, credit founded upon evidences of debt, such as promissory notes, duebills, etc.

{Paper hanger}, one who covers walls with paper hangings.

{Paper hangings}, paper printed with colored figures, or otherwise made ornamental, prepared to be pasted against the walls of apartments, etc.; wall paper.

{Paper house}, an audience composed of people who have come in on free passes. [Cant]

{Paper money}, notes or bills, usually issued by government or by a banking corporation, promising payment of money, and circulated as the representative of coin.

{Paper mulberry}. (Bot.) See under Mulberry.

{Paper muslin}, glazed muslin, used for linings, etc.

{Paper nautilus}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Argonauta}.

{Paper reed} (Bot.), the papyrus.

{Paper sailor}. (Zo["o]l.) See Argonauta.

{Paper stainer}, one who colors or stamps wall paper. --De Colange.

{Paper wasp} (Zo["o]l.), any wasp which makes a nest of paperlike material, as the yellow jacket.

{Paper weight}, any object used as a weight to prevent loose papers from being displaced by wind, or otherwise.

{on paper}. (a) in writing; as, I would like to see that on paper. (b) in theory, though not necessarily in paractice. (c) in the design state; planned, but not yet put into practice.

{Parchment paper}. See {Papyrine}.

{Tissue paper}, thin, gauzelike paper, such as is used to protect engravings in books.

{Wall paper}. Same as {Paper hangings}, above.

{Waste paper}, paper thrown aside as worthless or useless, except for uses of little account.

{Wove paper}, a writing paper with a uniform surface, not ribbed or watermarked.

{paper tiger}, a person or group that appears to be powerful and dangerous but is in fact weak and ineffectual. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • on paper — ► written or printed on paper: »The engineers worked out their ideas on paper. ► used to say that although an idea seems good when you think of it, it may not be so good when you try to use it: »It s a good plan on paper, but will it really work? …   Financial and business terms

  • on paper — ► on paper 1) in writing. 2) in theory rather than in reality. Main Entry: ↑paper …   English terms dictionary

  • on paper — index holographic, in writing Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • on paper — [adv] in theory abstractly, conceivably, hypothetically, theoretically; concept 529 …   New thesaurus

  • on paper — 1) in writing We need to have something on paper that people can take away with them. put something on paper: I woke up early and began to put down some of my ideas on paper. 2) used for saying that something appears to be true but may not in… …   English dictionary

  • on paper — phrasal 1. in writing < wants these promises on paper > 2. in theory < the plan looks good on paper > 3. figured at face value < on paper the stock was worth nearly a million dollars > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • on paper — if something seems good or true on paper, it seems to be good or true when you read or think about it but it might not be good or true in a real situation. She looked good on paper but was one of the weakest interviewees we saw today. On paper it …   New idioms dictionary

  • on paper — {adv.} or {adj. phr.} Judging by appearances only and not by past performance; in theory; theoretically. * /On paper, the American colonies should have lost the Revolutionary War./ * /The football team lost many games, even though they looked… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on paper — {adv.} or {adj. phr.} Judging by appearances only and not by past performance; in theory; theoretically. * /On paper, the American colonies should have lost the Revolutionary War./ * /The football team lost many games, even though they looked… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on\ paper — adv or adj. phr. Judging by appearances only and not by past performance; in theory; theoretically. On paper, the American colonies should have lost the Revolutionary War. The football team lost many games, even though they looked good on paper.… …   Словарь американских идиом

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