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[pap] /pæp/
soft food for infants or invalids, as bread soaked in water or milk.
an idea, talk, book, or the like, lacking substance or real value.
Origin of pap1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; a nursery word akin to Dutch pap, German Pappe, Latin, Italian pappa
Related forms
paplike, adjective
2. drivel, balderdash, twaddle.


[pap] /pæp/
noun, Chiefly Dialect
a teat; nipple.
something resembling a teat or nipple.
1150-1200; Middle English pappe; compare dialectal Norwegian, Swedish pappe, Latin papilla (see papilla), Lithuanian pãpas, all from a base *pap-; akin to pap1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pap
  • What a bunch of modern-day, super-politically-correct pap.
  • Such narrative pap was poisoning future students' minds, they moaned, making later study of real history more difficult.
  • Everyone needs a budget for useless pseudoscientific pap.
  • In any event a degree of moderation of this resource is needed to deter both trolls and those who persist in posting pap.
  • But second, your makers actually announced a respectable design philosophy at odds with the usual luxury gadget pap.
  • But pap smears allow precancerous lesions to be treated before they become cancerous.
  • They are smoking less and taking more preventive tests such as mammograms and pap smears.
  • pap smears effectively spot such changes, but they must be done regularly.
  • Depending upon your spiritual outlook, this statement is either a profound truth or sentimental pap.
British Dictionary definitions for pap


any soft or semiliquid food, such as bread softened with milk, esp for babies or invalids; mash
(South African) porridge made from maize
worthless or oversimplified ideas; drivel: intellectual pap
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Low German pappe, via Medieval Latin from Latin pappāre to eat; compare Dutch pap, Italian pappa


(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a nipple or teat
  1. something resembling a breast or nipple, such as (formerly) one of a pair of rounded hilltops
  2. (capital as part of a name): the Pap of Glencoe
Word Origin
C12: of Scandinavian origin, imitative of a sucking sound; compare Latin papilla nipple, Sanskrit pippalaka


verb (transitive) paps, papping, papped
(of the paparazzi) to follow and photograph (a famous person)
Word Origin
C20: from paparazzo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pap

"soft food for infants," late 14c., from Old French pape "watered gruel," from Latin pappa, a widespread word in children's language for "food" (e.g. Middle High German and Dutch pap, German Pappe, Spanish, Portuguese papa, Italian pappa), imitative of an infant's noise when hungry; possibly associated with pap (n.2). Meaning "over-simplified idea" first recorded 1540s.

"nipple of a woman's breast," c.1200, first attested in Northern and Midlands writing, probably from a Scandinavian source (not recorded in Old Norse, but cf. dialectal Swedish pappe), from PIE imitative root *pap- "to swell" (cf. Latin papilla "nipple," papula "a swelling, pimple;" Lithuanian papas "nipple").

"older man," 1844, shortening of papa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pap in Medicine

pap (pāp)
Soft or semiliquid food, as for infants.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pap



Father; pappy (1844+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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pap in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for pap


  1. Papanicolao smear
  2. Papanicolao test


  1. Password Authentication Protocol
  2. peroxidase antiperoxidase complex
  3. pulmonary artery pressure
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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