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From type +‎ writer.

An electric typewriter from the 1960s.


A manual typewriter from the early twentieth century.


typewriter (plural typewriters)

  1. A device, at least partially mechanical, used to print text by pressing keys that cause type to be impressed through an inked ribbon onto paper.
  2. (archaic) One who uses a typewriter; a typist.
    • 1896 November – 1897 May, Rudyard Kipling, Captains Courageous, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, published 1897, →OCLC:
      He had taken the wife to his raw new palace in San Diego, where she and her people occupied a wing of great price, and Cheyne, in a veranda-room, between a secretary and a typewriter, who was also a telegraphist, toiled along wearily from day to day.
    • 1953, Mike Harris, The Southpaw:
      The typewriter got up and disappeared out a back door, and soon she come back with a man, and he said, "Can I be of some help, Mr. Higgens?"
  3. (US, dated, slang) A machine gun or submachine gun (from the noise it makes when firing).
    • 1973, Edgar B. Jackson, Fall Out to the Right of the Road!, page 321:
      The battle had opened in earnest. From the wooded ridge came in reply the clacking of "typewriters,” and bullets whined over our heads.
    • 1996, Stefan Dziemianowicz, Virtuous vampires, page 250:
      It was like sinking to sleep in a soft, dry bed with a big drink of brandy in you after you're dog-tired from a tour of duty on the firing-step, or slipping into a warm bath when you're lousy-dirty and chilled to the bone from crawling through mud and filth and dodging flares and 'typewriter' bullets half the night.
    • 2001, Fredric Brown, Ben Yalow, From These Ashes: The Complete Short SF of Fredric Brown, page 234:
      Why, any day I'd go up against a typewriter, with a forty-five. One shot I'd need and there'd be time for three while he was getting that damn' thing swung around and pointed —
    • 2005, R. Derby Holmes, A Yankee in the Trenches, page 60:
      Fortunately we were on the edge of a shallow shell hole when the sentry caught our movements and Fritz cut loose with the "typewriters."
  4. A prank in which fingers are jabbed roughly onto someone's chest followed by striking them over the ear in imitation of using an old-fashioned typewriter.


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