One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Fine parchment made originally from the skin of a calf.
- ‘From what scholars have managed to read so far they believe it is an early Christian Psalter written on vellum, a parchment made from animal skin.’
- ‘Before the advent of the printing press, books were made of vellum because it was durable.’
- ‘Early codices were made of papyrus but later developments replaced this by vellum.’
- ‘Other maps have been revised so many times that the vellum has holes in it, and parts of them are so old that we cannot unfold them without destroying them.’
- ‘Irish writings prior to the use of paper and print were written on vellum in a distinctive minuscule script which reflects 1,000 years of literary tradition.’
2Smooth writing paper imitating vellum.
Late Middle English: from Old French velin, from veel (see veal).
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