Papañca: Sanskrit prapañca In doctrinal usage, it signifies the expansion, differentiation, 'diffuseness' or 'manifoldness' of the world; and it may also refer to the 'phenomenal world' in general, and to the mental attitude of 'worldliness'. In A. IV, 173, it is said:;As far as the field of sixfold sense-contact extends, so far reaches the world of diffuseness or the phenomenal world; papañcassa gati as far as the world of diffuseness extends, so far extends the field of sixfold sense-contact. Through the complete fading away and cessation of the field of sixfold sense-contact, there comes about the cessation and the coming-to-rest of the world of diffuseness papañca-nirodho papañca-vupasamo. The opposite term nippapañca is a name for Nibbāna S. LIII, in the sense of 'freedom from samsaric diffuseness'. - Dhp. 254:;Mankind delights in the diffuseness of the world, the Perfect Ones are free from such diffuseness; papañcābhiratā pajā nippapañca tathāgatā The 8th of the 'thoughts of a great man' mahā-purisa-vitakka A. VIII, 30 has:,This Dhamma is for one who delights in non-diffuseness the unworldly, Nibbāna; it is not for him who delights in worldliness papañca. For the psychological sense of 'differentiation', see M. 18 Madhupindika Sutta:;Whatever man conceives vitakketi that he differentiates papañceti and what he differentiates, by reason thereof ideas and considerations of differentiation papañca-saññā -sankhā arise in him.
Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.