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

  • noun A sheet, as of plastic or cardboard, in which a desired lettering or design has been cut so that ink or paint applied to the sheet will reproduce the pattern on the surface beneath.
  • noun The lettering or design produced with such a sheet.
  • noun The process of printing with such a sheet.
  • transitive verb To mark with a stencil.
  • transitive verb To produce by stencil.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A thin plate or sheet of any substance in which a figure, letter, or pattern is formed by cutting through the plate.
  • noun The coloring matter used in marking with a stencil-plate.
  • noun In ceramics, a preparation laid upon the biscuit to keep the oil used in transfer-printing or enameling from adhering to the surface; hence, the pattern traced by this preparation, reserving a panel or medallion of the unaltered color of the biscuit.
  • To mark out or paint by means of a stencil.
  • noun A door-post; a stanchion.

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

  • noun A thin plate of metal, leather, or other material, used in painting, marking, etc. The pattern is cut out of the plate, which is then laid flat on the surface to be marked, and the color brushed over it. Called also stencil plate.
  • transitive verb To mark, paint, or color in figures with stencils; to form or print by means of a stencil.

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

  • noun A utensil that contains a perforated sheet through which ink can be forced to create a printed pattern onto a surface.
  • noun A typeface looking as if made by the utensil.W
  • verb transitive, intransitive To print with a stencil.

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

  • verb mark or print with a stencil
  • noun a sheet of material (metal, plastic, cardboard, waxed paper, silk, etc.) that has been perforated with a pattern (printing or a design); ink or paint can pass through the perforations to create the printed pattern on the surface below


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

[From Middle English stencelled, adorned brightly, from Old French estenceler, to adorn brightly, from estencele, spark, from Vulgar Latin *stincilla, alteration of Latin scintilla, spark.]


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