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

  • n. The art or technique of one that engraves.
  • n. A design or text engraved on a surface.
  • n. An engraved surface for printing.
  • n. A print made from an engraved plate or block.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it
  • n. an engraved image
  • n. the art of drawing music notation at high quality, see Engraving
  • v. Present participle of engrave.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or art of producing upon hard material incised or raised patterns, characters, lines, and the like; especially, the art of producing such lines, etc., in the surface of metal plates or blocks of wood. Engraving is used for the decoration of the surface itself; also, for producing an original, from which a pattern or design may be printed on paper.
  • n. That which is engraved; an engraved plate.
  • n. An impression from an engraved plate, block of wood, or other material; a print.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or art of cutting designs, inscriptions, etc., on any hard substance, as stone, metal, or wood.
  • n. Specifically, the art of forming designs by cutting, corrosion by acids, a photographic process, etc., on the surface of metal plates or of blocks of wood, etc., for the purpose of taking off impressions or prints of the design so formed.
  • n. That which is engraved, or produced by engraving; an engraved representation, or an incised plate or block intended to be printed from: as, an engraving on a monument or a watch-case; a steel or a wood engraving.
  • n. An impression taken from an engraved plate or block; a print.
  • n. The taking of impressions from raised or incised seals has always been practised by civilized people. The goldsmiths of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe used engraving in the decoration of their work, and were accustomed to take impressions from their designs. Such impressions have been traced to the twelfth century. Among the earliest examples of engraving, properly so called, on metal are about three hundred prints in the dotted style (manière criblée) in which black spots are relieved against white and white spots against black, which date from about 1450 a. d. The practice of engraving was encouraged by the use of niello in the decoration of metals. (See niello.) Undoubtedly frequent impressions were taken from niello designs. For making plates to print upon paper, copper and later steel were substituted for other metals. Engraving on copper was extensively practised by the great artists of the Renaissance, as Pollajuolo, Mantegna, Botticelli, and Marcantonio Raimondi in Italy, and Martin Schongauer and Albert Dürer in Germany. In France engraving on copper found its first development in the illustration of books, as in the architectural series of Jacques I. Androuet Du Cerceau. In the seventeenth century the largest development of engraving on metal, occurred about the powerful personalities of Rembrandt and Rubens. The influence of Rubens, especially, brought about the culmination of the art. After this period, engraving on copper and steel became universal throughout modern civilization. The special contribution of England to the art of engraving on metal was the development of mezzotint, which was, however, invented in Holland in the middle of the seventeenth century. Wood-engraving was brought to perfection by the large school of German artists of the Renaissance grouped about the court of the Emperor Maximilian I. The chief of them was Albert-Dürer who may still be considered the greatest master of the art. From Germany the art of wood-engraving was carried into Italy, and practised with a peculiar charm by the painters of the quattrocento and cinquecento. The father of the modern art of wood-engraving is Thomas Bewick of Newcastle, England (1753–1828). Previous to his time the practice was chiefly in black line, that is, a drawing in black lines was made upon the block and the portions of the surface not touched by the draftsman were cut away by the engraver. Bewick established the ascendancy of the white line, that is, the incision made by the engravers' tools. This change in point of view vastly increased the effectiveness and artistic interest of the engraved block. The principles of Bewick have been accepted by all modern engravers whose interest is artistic rather than commercial. As in the case of engraving on copper and steel, the development of wood-engraving in modern times has been great, but little has been added to the fundamental principles established by the older masters.
  • n. An engraved printing-plate produced by this process. See photo-engraving and photogravure.

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

  • n. a block or plate or other hard surface that has been engraved
  • n. a print made from an engraving
  • n. making engraved or etched plates and printing designs from them


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • My adjectival use: 'This is an engraving knife.'

    August 22, 2011