from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of inscribing.
  • noun A marking, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
  • noun A piece of material, such as a stone or metal tablet, that is inscribed.
  • noun An enrollment or a registration of names.
  • noun A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
  • noun The usually informal dedication of a book or an artistic work.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geometry, the inscribingof one figure in another; also, the state of being so inscribed.
  • noun A tendinous line interrupting the fleshy fibers of a muscle: seen especially in the abdominal muscles.
  • noun The act of inscribing, in any sense of that word.
  • noun Inscribed symbols, letters, or words; specifically, a descriptive, explanatory, or illustrative memorandum, as a name, title, motto, panegyric, etc., written, engraved, or stamped, as on a monument, a medal, etc.: as, an inscription on a tombstone, on a gem, a book, or a picture; the inscriptions on the obverse and reverse of a coin or a medal.
  • noun Specifically In archœol., a historical, religious, or other record cut, impressed, painted, or written on stone, brick, metal, or other hard surface: as, the inscription on the Rosetta or the Moabite stone; the cuneiform inscriptions on rocks or brick cylinders; the inscriptions on the Egyptian temples or in the Roman catacombs; the inscriptions on Greek vases, votive tablets of terra-cotta, etc.
  • noun A form of complimentary presentation or offering of a book or work of art, less elaborate than a dedication.
  • noun In early church music, a sign or motto, or both combined, placed at the beginning of a canon written in an enigmatical manner, to show how it was to be resolved. The inscription was often designedly more puzzling than the canon itself.
  • noun In the civil law, a consent by an accuser that, if the accusation be false, he will submit to the same punishment which would have been inflicted upon the accused had he been guilty.
  • noun Entry on the calendar, as of a cause in court.

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

  • noun The act or process of inscribing.
  • noun That which is inscribed; something written or engraved; especially, a word or words written or engraved on a solid substance for preservation or public inspection
  • noun (Anat.) A line of division or intersection.
  • noun An address, consignment, or informal dedication, as of a book to a person, as a mark of respect or an invitation of patronage.

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

  • noun Text carved on a wall or plaque, such as a memorial or gravestone.
  • noun The text on a coin.
  • noun Words written in the front of a book as a dedication.

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

  • noun a short message (as in a book or musical work or on a photograph) dedicating it to someone or something
  • noun the activity of inscribing (especially carving or engraving) letters or words
  • noun letters inscribed (especially words engraved or carved) on something


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

[Middle English inscripcioun, statement giving the author or title of a book, from Latin īnscrīptiō, īnscrīptiōn-, from īnscrīptus, past participle of īnscrībere, to inscribe; see inscribe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin inscriptionem (inscriptio).


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