Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To write, print, carve, or engrave (words or letters) on or in a surface.
  • transitive v. To mark or engrave (a surface) with words or letters.
  • transitive v. To enter (a name) on a list or in a register.
  • transitive v. To sign one's name or write a brief message in or on (a gift book or photograph, for example).
  • transitive v. To dedicate to someone.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To draw (one figure) within another figure so that every vertex of the enclosed figure touches the outer figure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To write or cut words onto something, especially a hard surface; to engrave.
  • v. To draw a circle, sphere, etc. inside a polygon, polyhedron, etc. and tangent to all its sides.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To write or engrave; to mark down as something to be read; to imprint.
  • transitive v. To mark with letters, characters, or words.
  • transitive v. To assign or address to; to commend to by a short address; to dedicate informally.
  • transitive v. To imprint deeply; to impress; to stamp.
  • transitive v. To draw within so as to meet yet not cut the boundaries.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To write or engrave; mark, as letters or signs, by writing or engraving; specifically, to display in writing on something durable or conspicuous: as, to inscribe a name on a roll, tablet, or monument.
  • To write or engrave the name of, as on a list or tablet; enroll in writing: as, to be inscribed among the councilors.
  • To mark with characters or words.
  • To dedicate or commend (a book or other writing) by a short address less formal than a dedication.
  • To imprint deeply; impress: as, to inscribe something on the memory.
  • In geometry, to draw or delineate in or within, as chords or angles within a circle, or as a rectilinear figure within a curvilinear one.

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

  • v. address, (a work of literature) in a style less formal than a dedication
  • v. write, engrave, or print as a lasting record
  • v. convert ordinary language into code
  • v. draw within a figure so as to touch in as many places as possible
  • v. carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface
  • v. mark with one's signature
  • v. register formally as a participant or member

Etymologies

Latin īnscrībere : in-, in, on; see in-2 + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Only Mrs. Clinton's perfectly cutesy-pie idea was to inscribe the Russian word for "reset" on the button.

    American Thinker

  • My first act was to look at the register where all persons who call inscribe their names, and I was surprised to notice the number of Americans present in

    Paris: With Pen and Pencil Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business

  • Under the deal President Obama helped secure in Copenhagen, major emitters of greenhouse gases are expected to "inscribe" their reduction targets by Jan. 31.

    Climate Ark Climate Change & Global Warming RSS Newsfeed

  • This freeware allows you to "inscribe" visible text or logos on the photos.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • A jazz-loving Soviet medical student discovered that he could inscribe sound grooves on the surface of X-ray plates, and invented a machine that allowed him to produce low-quality but sufficient copies of music recordings.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • My grandmother, in her distinctive, beautiful handwriting, would inscribe each book: “To Elizabeth Rose, with love, from Grandmother.”

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers

  • The music comes together as I inscribe it on her thighs, rough-hewn rhythm to an inaudible pulse.

    Inscription

  • When her daughter inscribed a swastika on her arm, went to school and the teacher scrubbed it off, the mother decided to re-inscribe it the next day and send her daughter to school.

    The Power of the Swastika « Colleen Anderson

  • It acts as a kind of palimpsest over which the literary writer might inscribe his/her own variations on "criminal" behavior and its sources in unruly human impulses.

    What's Going On?

  • Tuesday's hearing was largely taken up with procedural details to inscribe the dozens of plaintiffs in the civil portion of the case, which will be heard alongside the criminal case.

    Manslaughter trial opens against experts for Italy quake

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