One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Thin, dry, or flimsy like paper; papery.
thin, paper-thin, gossamer-thin, ultra-thin, flimsy, delicate, insubstantial, fragile, frail, light, lightweightView synonyms
- ‘It is a shrub with chartaceous leaves.’
- ‘In these specimens the scales are long, linear, chartaceous, and erect.’
- ‘Since the pod of the pigeon pea is chartaceous rather than succulent, the lesions are more like spots than cankers.’
- ‘The nest of this wasp he found attached to a small bush, and about the size of a man's head, being covered with a chartaceous envelope, like that of European wasps.’
- ‘It has always seemed to me, Madam, that that same jaw-bone must have been either prodigiously strong and tough, or else the Philistine crania must have been of very chartaceous texture.’
Mid 17th century: from late Latin chartaceus, from Latin charta ‘paper, papyrus leaf’ (see card) + -eous.
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