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[pah-puh-raht-soh; Italian pah-pah-raht-tsaw] /ˌpɑ pəˈrɑt soʊ; Italian ˌpɑ pɑˈrɑt tsɔ/
noun, plural paparazzi
[pah-puh-raht-see; Italian pah-pah-raht-tsee] /ˌpɑ pəˈrɑt si; Italian ˌpɑ pɑˈrɑt tsi/ (Show IPA)
a freelance photographer, especially one who takes candid pictures of celebrities for publication.
Origin of paparazzo
1965-70; < Italian, from the surname of such a photographer in Federico Fellini's La dolce vita (1959), after the name of a hotelkeeper in George Gissing's By the Ionian Sea (1901), read by Fellini in It translation at the time of the movie's producton Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paparazzi
  • The show advertises itself as the first survey of paparazzi in this country, and that makes sense.
  • They prefer the intrusive shots that paparazzi sell.
  • Beating up your paparazzi stalkers is so last century.
  • She likes a good party and a hot new nightclub and has been a persistent paparazzi favorite.
  • There will be parties and paparazzi and pretty clothes and public affirmations of affection and respect.
  • These ethnographic paparazzi travel from around the world, hoping to create a record of a culture under siege.
  • She's probably muttering about the paparazzi under her breath.
  • They try to avoid the paparazzi as they hide their latest tabloid scandal from the kids.
  • Instead, he has been mamboing in the ballroom of a cruise ship and sunbathing at pool side, much to the delight of the paparazzi.
  • It encourages people to push the limits: the more scandalous they are the more they attract the attention of the paparazzi.
British Dictionary definitions for paparazzi


noun (pl) -razzi (-ˈrætsiː)
a freelance photographer who specializes in candid camera shots of famous people and often invades their privacy to obtain such photographs
Word Origin
C20: from Italian
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 paparazzi

1961, from Italian Paparazzo (plural paparazzi) surname of the freelance photographer in Federico Fellini's 1959 film "La Dolce Vita." The surname itself is of no special significance; it is said to be a common one in Calabria, and Fellini is said to have borrowed it from a travel book, "By the Ionian Sea," in which occurs the name of hotel owner Coriolano Paparazzo.



see paparazzi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for paparazzi



: one of the most paparazzi-plagued women of this American century


A freelance photographer who hounds celebrities: out of the public spotlight and away from the paparazzi (1968+)

[plural of Italian paparazzo]

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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