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Word of the Day
Sunday, January 02, 2000

Definitions for palimpsest

  1. A manuscript, usually of papyrus or parchment, on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible.
  2. An object or place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface.

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Citations for palimpsest
The manuscript is a palimpsest consisting of vellum leaves from which the "fluent and assured script" of the original Archimedes text and 55 diagrams had been washed or scraped off so that the surface could be used for new writings. Roger Highfield, Daily Telegraph
Each is a palimpsest, one improvisation partly burying another but leaving hints of it behind. Robert Hughes, Time
Origin of palimpsest
Palimpsest is from Latin palimpsestus, from Greek palimpsestos, "scraped or rubbed again," from palin, "again" + psen, "to rub (away)."