1275-1325;late Middle English < Middle French,Old French (parche < LatinParthica (pellis) Parthian (leather) + -ment (compare Medieval Latinpercamentum,Dutchperkament)); replacing Middle Englishparchemin < Old French (-min < Medieval Latinpergamīnum, variant of pergamēnum, for Late LatinPergamēna charta paper of Pergamum)
the skin of certain animals, such as sheep, treated to form a durable material, as for bookbinding, or (esp formerly) manuscripts
a manuscript, bookbinding, etc, made of or resembling this material
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)
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.