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papier-mâché

[pey-per-muh-shey, -ma-; French pa-pyey-mah-shey] /ˌpeɪ pər məˈʃeɪ, -mæ-; French pa pyeɪ mɑˈʃeɪ/
noun
1.
a substance made of pulped paper or paper pulp mixed with glue and other materials or of layers of paper glued and pressed together, molded when moist to form various articles, and becoming hard and strong when dry.
adjective
2.
made of papier-mâché.
3.
easily destroyed or discredited; false, pretentious, or illusory:
a papier-mâché façade of friendship.
Also, paper-mâché.
Origin
1745-1755
1745-55; < French: literally, chewed paper
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for papier mache

papier-mâché

/ˌpæpjeɪˈmæʃeɪ; French papjemɑʃe/
noun
1.
a hard strong substance suitable for painting on, made of paper pulp or layers of paper mixed with paste, size, etc, and moulded when moist
adjective
2.
made of papier-mâché
Word Origin
C18: from French, literally: chewed paper
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 papier mache

papier-mache

n.

also papier mache, 1753, from French papier-mâché, literally "chewed paper," from Old French papier "paper" (see paper (n.)) + mâché "compressed, mashed," from past participle of mâcher, literally "to chew," from Late Latin masticare "masticate" (see mastication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for papier mache

papier-mache

repulped paper that has been mixed with glue or paste so that it can be molded. The art of making articles of papier-mache, beautifully decorated in Oriental motifs and handsomely lacquered, was known in the East centuries before its introduction in Europe. Molded-paper products were first made in France in the early part of the 18th century and, later, in Germany and England. Different processes were used; for instance, several sheets of paper glued together could be pressure molded into such articles as trays and furniture panels. Although production has declined since the 19th century, papier-mache is still used for toys, masks, model scenic materials, and the like

Learn more about papier-mache with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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