[ li-thog-ruh-fee ]
/ lɪˈθɒg rə fi /


the art or process of producing a picture, writing, or the like, on a flat, specially prepared stone, with some greasy or oily substance, and of taking ink impressions from this as in ordinary printing.
a similar process in which a substance other than stone, as aluminum or zinc, is used.Compare offset(def 6).

Nearby words

  1. lithogenic,
  2. lithogenous,
  3. lithograph,
  4. lithographer,
  5. lithographic,
  6. lithoid,
  7. lithol.,
  8. litholapaxy,
  9. lithologic,
  10. lithology

Origin of lithography

From the New Latin word lithographia, dating back to 1700–10. See litho-, -graphy

Related formslith·o·graph·ic [lith-uh-graf-ik] /ˌlɪθ əˈgræf ɪk/, lith·o·graph·i·cal, adjectivelith·o·graph·i·cal·ly, adverbun·lith·o·graph·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lithography

British Dictionary definitions for lithography


/ (lɪˈθɒɡrəfɪ) /


a method of printing from a metal or stone surface on which the printing areas are not raised but made ink-receptive while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent
Derived Formslithographer, noun

Word Origin for lithography

C18: from New Latin lithographia, from litho- + -graphy

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 lithography



1813, from German Lithographie (c.1804), coined from Greek lithos "stone" (see litho-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). The original printing surfaces were of stone. Process invented 1796 by Alois Senefelder of Munich (1771-1833). Hence, lithograph "a lithographic print," a back-formation first attested 1828. Earlier senses, now obsolete, were "description of stones or rocks" (1708) and "art of engraving on precious stones" (1730).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper