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[ech-ing] /ˈɛtʃ ɪŋ/
the act or process of making designs or pictures on a metal plate, glass, etc., by the corrosive action of an acid instead of by a burin.
an impression, as on paper, taken from an etched plate.
the design so produced.
a metal plate bearing such a design.
Origin of etching
First recorded in 1625-35; etch + -ing1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for etchings
Historical Examples
  • His industry may be inferred from the number of his engravings and etchings, of which he left not fewer than 1600.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • There are three kinds of prints, engravings, etchings, and mezzotintos.

    John Baptist Jackson Jacob Kainen
  • These etchings were published again in 1740 as Errores Ulyssis.

    John Baptist Jackson Jacob Kainen
  • As yet, power rather than beauty presided, unless in the etchings of Vandyck.

  • I think his etchings are as good as any line work the war has produced.

  • Still it was not the extraordinary skill which attracted me most in these etchings.

    Rembrandt Josef Israels
  • Did you ask to see the early states of Mr. Whistler's etchings?

    The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

    James McNeill Whistler
  • The etchings and dry-points in the gallery do not form a complete set.

    The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

    James McNeill Whistler
  • It was rich with capital pencil sketches and even with etchings.

    The Dictator

    Justin McCarthy
  • But the etchings were no more appreciated in New York than in London.

    The Life of James McNeill Whistler Elizabeth Robins Pennell
British Dictionary definitions for etchings


the art, act, or process of preparing etched surfaces or of printing designs from them
an etched plate
an impression made from an etched plate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for etchings



1630s, action of the verb etch, also "the art of engraving;" 1760s as "a print, etc., made from an etched plate."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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etchings in Culture

etching definition

An artistic print made from a plate on which the artist has etched a design with acid. (Compare engraving.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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