Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun paper pronunciation in British English /ˈpeɪpə(r)/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the thin flat substance that you use for writing on or wrapping things in

    a parcel wrapped in brown paper

    a piece/sheet of paper:

    Stuart handed me a piece of paper with an address written on it.

  2. 2
    [countable] a newspaper

    He sat down and read the paper.

    The story was in all the papers.

    Is that today’s paper?

  3. 3


    [plural] official documents such as your passport

    We had to show our papers at the security desk.

    1. a.
      documents relating to work, study, or personal matters

      His private papers include a diary of his first year in parliament.

      Some important papers are missing from the files.

  4. 4
    [countable] British an examination, or the answers that a student has written

    I had a maths paper in the afternoon.

    Please hand your papers in now.

  5. 5
    [countable] a piece of writing or a talk on an academic subject
    present a paper:

    Leading scholars have been invited to present papers at the conference.

    paper on:

    He has published many papers on the subject.

    1. a.
      mainly American a piece of writing that is done as part of a course at school or university
      paper on:

      I have to write a paper on the Cuban Revolution.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a fight

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog