a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.

1655–65; < Latin palimpsēstus < Greek palímpsēstos rubbed again (pálin again + psēstós scraped, rubbed, verbid of psân to rub smooth)

palimpsestic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
palimpsest (ˈpælɪmpˌsɛst)
1.  a manuscript on which two or more successive texts have been written, each one being erased to make room for the next
2.  (of a text) written on a palimpsest
3.  (of a document) used as a palimpsest
[C17: from Latin palimpsestus parchment cleaned for reuse, from Greek palimpsēstos, from palin again + psēstos rubbed smooth, from psēn to scrape]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"parchment from which earlier writing has been removed to clear it for new writing," 1661, from L. palimpsestus, from Gk. palimpsestos "scraped again," from palin "again" (see palindrome) + verbal adj. of psen "to rub smooth" (of unknown origin).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Covering its surface is an intricate palimpsest of characters and pictures, some of them dating back more than a millennium.
Haynes has produced a dizzying palimpsest of images and styles, in which his subject appears in the form of six different people.
Each year adds another layer to this palimpsest of obsessions.
The pebble lag above the exposure surface is a transgressive palimpsest deposit.
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