Main definitions of pap in English

: pap1pap2pap3

pap1

noun

  • 1Bland soft or semi-liquid food such as that suitable for babies or invalids:

    ‘a trayful of tasteless pap’
    • ‘At the age of 5 months, a baby should be given pap, besides breast milk.’
    • ‘Babies are breast-fed on demand, often for well over a year, although solid foods, usually rice pap, may be introduced at a young age.’
    • ‘Therefore to stuff the baby with paps and slops is to deprive it of the most strengthening food; for if its stomach be filled with pap, there cannot be any room for food.’
    • ‘Throughout the years a soft gruel-like substance called pap was fed to small babies. Pap was made of a number of things including ground cornmeal and water.’
    soft food, mush, semi-liquid food, baby food, slop, slush, swill, pulp, purée, mash, paste
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in Africa and the Caribbean) porridge, usually made with maize meal.
      • ‘Customers are given a choice between pap and rice served with chicken or beef stew.’
      • ‘Apart from tasting traditional Xhosa food - from kudu steaks to samp and beans and stywe pap - the Canadians will be licking their fingers as they tuck into specially made Springbok wors.’
      • ‘Most of the restaurants serve French cuisine, and just as pap is our staple food here, so is bread over there, every meal comes with bread.’
      • ‘Other items include a finger lunch of meat dishes, vegetables and salads or a braai menu of chicken peri-peri, rump steak, traditional wors served with pap, rolls, roasted potato and tomato gravy.’
      • ‘The restaurants reach a market that does not demand the sophistication of established restaurants, offering customers favourite traditional dishes such as pap and chicken, meat or intestines, liver or tripe.’
  • 2Worthless or trivial reading matter or entertainment:

    ‘limitless channels serving up an undemanding diet of pap’
    • ‘I would look forward to reading your editorial accompanied by a well-thought-out illustration - now all you give me is pap.’
    • ‘They were undoubtedly harder to make and are often far more refreshing than the usual pap that gets projected our way.’
    • ‘He's a boyband superstar that sings mindless pap, right?’
    • ‘The argument goes that TV schedules are full of pap, with too much concentration on entertainment rather than the worthier fare of education.’
    • ‘There was a time when the pap served up in this annual competition, which gave us Abba and Bucks Fizz, was simply a funny joke.’
    • ‘The sorry state of preaching is reflected in, and no doubt encouraged by, the pap that passes for devotional writing and ‘homiletical helps’ among today's Catholics.’
    • ‘Such ingenuity and self-confidence should be applauded at a time when Hollywood churns out bland twentysomething pap at vast cost.’
    • ‘It's such a shame that teachers are getting sent out to teach very needy students and are getting such pap in their education programs.’
    • ‘It's an unfortunate trend that news magazines, like the underrated Bulletin, are perceived as being the men's domain, whilst the lightweight pap is for women.’
    • ‘I remember thinking the plot was sentimental, rubbishy pap.’
    • ‘But this is just so run-of-the-mill, the pap churned out by the ton in the early sixties.’
    • ‘Her conspicuous wealth, derived from the public demand for the pap she peddles, is further cause for resentment.’
    • ‘The only thing that it had to have was some kind of bite to it, not the pap that you hear in the charts.’
    • ‘It's all bland, unoriginal pap that will only appeal to the nostalgia-seekers of the original BSB generation.’
    • ‘Anyone who's lived in the US and had to exist on the pap that passes for current affairs will share my fears for what the future holds for us.’
    • ‘How odd to find suddenly that the British have all the style and authenticity, and the Americans, the Australians and the French have all the pap.’
    • ‘It's said that the mainstream media is increasingly dominated by corporate interests, political spin, and bread and circuses postmodern pap.’
    • ‘Both numbers have a degree of sophistication that is not exactly very high, but much higher than the pap offered in other contemporary and even more modern musicals.’
    • ‘Not a day is free of the pap that infects British culture.’
    • ‘They continue to resist the corporate juggernauts that routinely flatten talent into the pap of pop.’
    trivia, pulp, pulp fiction, rubbish, trash, nonsense, froth
    View synonyms

adjective

South African
  • 1(of food) lacking flavour and firmness:

    ‘the apple is so pap I won't eat it’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) lacking physical or emotional strength; feeble:
      ‘this flu makes people feel pap’
      • ‘He is clearly a an anonymous PAP person employed to trawl the blogs, attack the views and attitudes of the writers without offering any constructive criticism.’
      • ‘In one of her interviews in Egypt they bring up that "she's not a pap person like people think".’
    2. 1.2 (of an inflatable object) under-inflated; flat:
      ‘my wheel was pap so I had to push the bike home’

Origin

Late Middle English: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch pappe, probably based on Latin pappare eat.

Pronunciation:

pap

/pap/

Main definitions of pap in English

: pap1pap2pap3

pap2

noun

dialect, archaic
  • A woman's breast or nipple.

    • ‘Most of the patients on their list are women who go to a gynecologist for paps and mammograms.’
    • ‘And how else did you think I came to you with my paps full of milk, when you were first a babe?’
    • ‘A far better comparison would be between two groups of women - one of which had conventional paps, the other of which had monolayer paps.’
    • ‘Gripping their wife's puny paps, withered by suckling babes, they reached for those firm round breasts which had known ought but a man's hunger.’

Origin

Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin, from a base imitative of the sound of sucking.

Pronunciation:

pap

/pap/

Main definitions of pap in English

: pap1pap2pap3

pap3

noun

informal
  • A paparazzo.

    • ‘The truth is she looks out of a window, my friend, and there are paps coming over the fence.’
    • ‘But the paps, along with legal experts, say they are protected by their right to free speech under the US constitution.’
    • ‘So how the hearts of the paps must have leapt as Madonna plus children and lover Jesus hoved into view off the coast of Italy this week.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Take a photograph of (a celebrity) without permission:

    ‘she can't go to the gym or pop to the shops without being papped’

Pronunciation:

pap

/pap/