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Decorative engraving (sense 1) on a watch
Engraving (sense 1) on a rock
Engraving of a poppy, from 1827, in the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, US) (sense 3)


engraving (countable and uncountable, plural engravings)

  1. (art) The practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it.
  2. (printing) The art of producing an image from an engraved printing form, typically made of copper.
    Coordinate terms: drypoint, etching
    Hypernym: intaglio
    Hyponyms: copperplate engraving, line engraving, photoengraving, steel engraving
  3. (countable) A print produced from an engraving.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter X, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
      He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He stood transfixed before the unaccustomed view of London at night time, a vast panorama which reminded him [] of some wood engravings far off and magical, in a printshop in his childhood.
  4. (music) The art of drawing music notation at high quality, particularly on a computer.

Related terms[edit]


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  1. present participle of engrave

Further reading[edit]