Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A method of engraving a copper or steel plate by scraping and burnishing areas to produce effects of light and shadow.
  • n. A print made from a plate engraved by mezzotint.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a form of intaglio etching in which a metal plate is roughened evenly and then smoothed to bring out an image
  • n. an etching or print made using this method
  • v. to make such etchings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A manner of engraving on copper or steel by drawing upon a surface previously roughened, and then removing the roughness in places by scraping, burnishing, etc., so as to produce the requisite light and shade. Also, an engraving so produced.
  • transitive v. To engrave in mezzotint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To engrave in mezzotint; represent in or as if in mezzotint.
  • n. A method of engraving on copper or steel of which the essential feature is the burnishing and scraping away, to a variable extent, of a uniformly roughened surface consisting of minute incisions, accompanied by a bur, produced by an instrument called a cradle or rocker.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. print produced by an engraving that has been scraped to represent light or shade

Etymologies

Alteration of Italian mezzatinta, halftone : mezza, feminine of mezzo, half (from Latin medius; see medium) + tinta, tint, from feminine past participle of tingere, to tint (from Latin, to dye).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • A distinctive form of engraving, richly black and textured, in which the plate has been worked from dark to light. Used mainly for portraits.

    February 25, 2008