Pronunciation: (pu-pī'rus), [key]
—pl. -py•riPronunciation: (-pī'rī, -rē), [key] -py•rus•es.
1. a tall, aquatic plant, Cyperus papyrus, of the sedge family, native to the Nile valley: the Egyptian subspecies, C. papyrus hadidii, thought to be common in ancient times, now occurs only in several sites.
2. a material on which to write, prepared from thin strips of the pith of this plant laid together, soaked, pressed, and dried, used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
3. an ancient document, manuscript, or scroll written on this material.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.