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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To engrave in mezzotint; represent in or as if in mezzotint.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To engrave in mezzotint.
  • noun 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.

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

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

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

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


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

[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).]



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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