the skin of sheep, goats, etc., prepared for use as a material on which to write.
a manuscript or document on such material.
a stiff, off-white paper resembling this material.
a diploma.

1275–1325; late Middle English < Middle French, Old French (parche < Latin Parthica (pellis) Parthian (leather) + -ment (compare Medieval Latin percamentum, Dutch perkament)); replacing Middle English parchemin < Old French (-min < Medieval Latin pergamīnum, variant of pergamēnum, for Late Latin Pergamēna charta paper of Pergamum)

parchmentlike, parchmenty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
parchment (ˈpɑːtʃmənt)
1.  the skin of certain animals, such as sheep, treated to form a durable material, as for bookbinding, or (esp formerly) manuscripts
2.  a manuscript, bookbinding, etc, made of or resembling this material
3.  a type of stiff yellowish paper resembling parchment
[C13: from Old French parchemin, via Latin from Greek pergamēnē, from Pergamēnos of Pergamum (where parchment was made); the form of Old French parchemin was influenced by parche leather, from Latin Parthica (pellis) Parthian (leather)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. perchemin (O.N.Fr. parcamin), from L.L. pergamenum "parchment," from Late Gk. pergamenon "of Pergamon," in allusion to Pergamon "Pergamum" (modern Bergama), city in Mysia in Asia Minor where it was supposedly first adopted as a substitute for papyrus, 2c. B.C.E. Possibly infl. in V.L.
by L. parthica (pellis) "Parthian (leather)." Alt. in M.E. by confusion with nouns in -ent.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Parchment definition

a skin prepared for writing on; so called from Pergamos (q.v.), where this was first done (2 Tim. 4:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Live with it or get back to your parchment and typewriter.
It is a short-necked wasted lute, the lower chamber having a parchment
The group thus argued that a forger laid the different colors on the parchment
  separately to create the appearance of antiquity.
Pat out the dough on an oiled sheet of parchment paper.
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