from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun a pen with small metal ball as point of transfer of ink to paper; same as ballpoint pen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A BIRO brand ballpoint pen.
  • noun by extension, UK, New Zealand Any ballpoint pen.
  • noun by extension Ink from a ballpoint pen.

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

  • noun a pen that has a small metal ball as the point of transfer of ink to paper


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the BIRO brand of pens made by the BIC corporation, which were named after László Bíró, the inventor of the pen.



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  • Citation on doodle.

    July 23, 2008

  • This household word (at least in my neck of the woods) is a fitting tribute to Hungarian Bíró László, who gave us the ballpoint pen.

    January 10, 2011

  • Although apparantly there was a very similar patent for a pen that could write on leather held by a gentleman named John Loud a couple of decades or so before (please correct me if I'm mistaken).

    January 10, 2011

  • Loud invented Hawaian shirts too.

    January 10, 2011

  • ...and would you believed it, "biro" also means judge in Hungarian. There aren't too many occurrences, like this between the two languages. Why wold it be?

    January 11, 2012