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From copper +‎ plate. For the plate used for engraving: in the 1660s. As a term for the printed product: from 1817. Of the especially clear writing used in such prints: from the 1820s. Use as a verb (the past participle copperplated) is from 1822.


copperplate (countable and uncountable, plural copperplates)

  1. A copper plate, either etched or engraved, to make a recessed pattern.
  2. A print made from such a plate.
  3. A style of handwriting based on that used on such prints; English round hand.
    • 1999. Stardust, Neil Gaiman, page 36 (2001 Perennial paperback edition).
      The village school was a fine school [] He learned his reading and had a fair copperplate hand.


copperplate (third-person singular simple present copperplates, present participle copperplating, simple past and past participle copperplated)

  1. To engrave on and print from a copperplate.