What does palimpsest mean?

Definitions for palimpsestˈpæl ɪmpˌsɛst

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word palimpsest.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. palimpsest(noun)

    a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible


  1. palimpsest(Noun)

    A manuscript or document that has been erased or scraped clean, for reuse of the paper, parchment, vellum, or other medium on which it was written. Many historical texts have been recovered using ultraviolet light and other technologies to read the erased writing.

  2. palimpsest(Noun)

    Monumental brasses that have been reused by engraving of the blank back side.

  3. palimpsest(Noun)

    Circular features believed to be lunar craters that have been obliterated by later volcanic activity.

  4. palimpsest(Noun)

    Geological features thought to be related to features or effects below the surface.

  5. palimpsest(Noun)

    Memory that has been erased and re-written.

  6. palimpsest(Noun)

    Something bearing the traces of an earlier, erased form.

  7. palimpsest(Verb)

    To scrape clean, as in parchment, for reuse.

  8. palimpsest(Verb)

    On paper: to reuse, often by erasure or change of pen direction or color. Especially fueled by Earth Day.

    Typically refers to a multi-layered work, e.g.u03BB new ads covering old on a roadside sign.

  9. Origin: From palimpsestus, from .

Webster Dictionary

  1. Palimpsest(noun)

    a parchment which has been written upon twice, the first writing having been erased to make place for the second

  2. Origin: [L. palimpsestus, Gr. pali`mpshstos scratched or scraped again, pali`mpshston a palimpsest; pa`lin again + psh^n to rub, rub away: cf. F. palimpseste.]


  1. Palimpsest

    A palimpsest is a manuscript page from a scroll or book from which the text has been scraped or washed off and which can be used again. The word "palimpsest" comes through Latin palimpsēstus from Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος originally compounded from πάλιν and ψάω literally meaning “scraped clean and used again”. Romans wrote on wax-coated tablets that could be smoothed and reused, and a passing use of the term "palimpsest" by Cicero seems to refer to this practice. The term has come to be used in similar context in a variety of disciplines, notably architectural archaeology.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Palimpsest

    pal′imp-sest, n. a manuscript which has been written upon twice, the first writing having been rubbed off to make room for the second: an engraved brass plate, with a new inscription on the reverse side. [Gr. palimpsēstonpalin, again, psēstos, rubbed.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Palimpsest

    the name given to a parchment manuscript written on the top of another that has been erased, yet often not so thoroughly that it cannot be in a measure restored.

Anagrams for palimpsest »

  1. past simple

  2. simple past, simple-past

  3. Simple-past


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of palimpsest in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of palimpsest in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Images & Illustrations of palimpsest

  1. palimpsestpalimpsestpalimpsest

Translations for palimpsest

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for palimpsest »


Find a translation for the palimpsest definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these palimpsest definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"palimpsest." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/palimpsest>.

Are we missing a good definition for palimpsest? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for palimpsest:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.