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.’
- ‘Early codices were made of papyrus but later developments replaced this by vellum.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Before the advent of the printing press, books were made of vellum because it was durable.’
- ‘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.’
2Smooth writing paper imitating vellum.
Late Middle English: from Old French velin, from veel (see veal).
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