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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French empreinte, from the past participle of empreindre, from Latin imprimere.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɪm.pɹɪnt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪmpɹɪnt


imprint (plural imprints)

  1. An impression; the mark left behind by printing something.
    The day left an imprint in my mind.
    • 2017 June 3, Daniel Taylor, “Real Madrid win Champions League as Cristiano Ronaldo double defeats Juv”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      It was the moment everyone knew the Champions League trophy was on its way back to the Bernabéu and, once again, that the four-times Ballon d’Or winner had left his imprint on another final.
  2. The name and details of a publisher or printer, as printed in a book etc.; a publishing house.
    • 2001, Susan Stryker, Queer Pulp, page 19:
      From their Belmont Avenue address they issued such memorable titles as I Peddle Jazz, Camera Bait, Our Flesh Was Cheap, Lesbian Twins, and His Sex, His Problem under at least four different imprints—Saber, Fabian, Vega, and National Library Books.
  3. A distinctive marking, symbol or logo.
    The shirts bore the company imprint on the right sleeve.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English emprinten, enprinten, from Old French empreinter, from the past participle of empreindre, from Latin imprimere.



imprint (third-person singular simple present imprints, present participle imprinting, simple past and past participle imprinted)

  1. To leave a print, impression, image, etc.
    For a fee, they can imprint the envelopes with a monogram.
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], “No Innate Principles in the Mind”, in An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. [], London: [] Eliz[abeth] Holt, for Thomas Basset, [], →OCLC, book I, § 23, page 12:
      For though a Child quickly aſſent to this Propoſition, That an Apple is not Fire; when, by familiar Acquaintance, he has got the Idea's of thoſe two different things diſtinctly imprinted on his Mind, and has learnt that the names Apple and Fire ſtand for them; yet it will be ſome years after, perhaps, before the ſame Child will aſſent to this Propoſition, That it is impoſſible for the ſame thing to be, and not to be.
    • 1709, Matthew Prior, “Henry and Emma. []”, in The Poetical Works of Matthew Prior [], volume I, London: [] W[illiam] Strahan, [], published 1779, →OCLC, page 259:
      Him great in peace and wealth fair Deva knows; / For ſhe amidſt his ſpacious meadows flows; / Inclines her urn upon his fatten'd lands; / And ſees his num'rous herd imprint her ſands.
    • 1782, William Cowper, “Charity”, in Poems, London: [] J[oseph] Johnson, [], →OCLC, page 189:
      Nature imprints upon whate'er we ſee / That has a heart and life in it, be free; [...]
  2. To learn something indelibly at a particular stage of life, such as who one's parents are.
  3. To mark a gene as being from a particular parent so that only one of the two copies of the gene is expressed.
Derived terms[edit]