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A 16th century xylograph (print) depicting the making of a xylograph (engraving).


Back-formation from xylography, corresponding to xylo- (wood) +‎ -graph.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈzaɪ.ləʊ.ɡɹɑːf/, /ˈzaɪ.lə.ɡɹɑːf/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈzaɪ.loʊ.ɡɹɑːf/, /ˈzaɪ.lə.ɡɹɑːf/
  • (file)


xylograph (plural xylographs or xylographica)

  1. An engraving in wood or woodcut, especially one used in printing predating the Western tradition (14th c.).
    Synonym: woodcut
    • 2009, Kurtis R. Schaeffer, The Culture of the Book in Tibet, Columbia University Press (→ISBN)
      First he collected a number of witnesses, including many old prints of the Guhyasamāja Tantra itself and old xylograph prints of the Pradipodyotana from the monasteries of Drepung, Tashilhunpo, Riwo Dangchen, and Nartang.
  2. A print taken from such an engraving.
    • 1967, Rudolf Hirsch, Printing, Selling and Reading, 1450-1550, page 10:
      The apparent success of this mass-produced merchandise, whether caused by piety, or fear, or simply by the desire to own pretty pictures, was apparently great and these xylographica had a considerably wider market than manuscripts.
    • 2011, Udo J. Hebel, Christoph Wagner, Pictorial Cultures and Political Iconographies: Approaches, Perspectives, Case Studies from Europe and America, Walter de Gruyter (→ISBN), page 143:
      While Walter Gropius had had a reproduction of a xylograph from Lyonel Feininger reproduced on the Bauhaus movement's founding manifesto in 1919 – a symbolic image of a gothic cathedral that was comparatively traditional in both form []
    • 2011, Harry G. Aldis, John Carter, E. A. Crutchley, The Printed Book, page 2:
      These block-books, or xylographica, of which upwards of a hundred issues and editions, comprising some thirty separate works, have been recorded, were produced chiefly in the Netherlands and Germany.
    • 2014, Sang-jin Park, Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (→ISBN), page 1:
      The restoration process brought to light a sarira box containing an artifact that rewrote that history: the oldest xylograph in the world, reproduced in ink from woodblocks with characters carved in relief, was found inside the box from the second []



xylograph (third-person singular simple present xylographs, present participle xylographing, simple past and past participle xylographed)

  1. (transitive) To make a print from an engraving in wood.


Related terms[edit]