• synonyms


[ak-wuh-tint, ah-kwuh-]
  1. a process imitating the broad flat tints of ink or wash drawings by etching a microscopic crackle on the copperplate intended for printing.
  2. an etching made by this process.
Show More
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to etch in aquatint.
Show More

Origin of aquatint

1775–85; variant of aqua-tinta < Italian acqua tinta literally, tinted water. See aqua, tint
Related formsaq·ua·tint·er, aq·ua·tint·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aquatint

Historical Examples

  • Of these methods only aquatint survived after early years of the 19th century.

    John Baptist Jackson

    Jacob Kainen

  • The terms were, that Turner was to etch and Lewis to aquatint at five guineas a plate.


    William Cosmo Monkhouse

  • The plate has a wash of aquatint, all over it, and the etching is free and bold.

  • Aquatint, a method of etching on copper by which a beautiful effect is produced, resembling a fine drawing in sepia or Indian ink.

  • In these etching merely provides the ground plan for the use of mezzotint, or, more rarely, aquatint.

British Dictionary definitions for aquatint


  1. a technique of etching copper with acid to produce an effect resembling the flat tones of wash or watercolour. The tone or tint is obtained by acid (aqua) biting through the pores of a ground that only partially protects the copper
  2. an etching made in this way
Show More
  1. (tr) to etch (a block, etc) in aquatint
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from Italian acqua tinta: dyed water
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

Word Origin and History for aquatint


1782, "engraving made with aqua fortis," from Italian acquatinta, from Latin aqua tincta "dyed water;" see aqua- + tinct.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper