• synonyms


[met-soh-tint, med-zoh-, mez-oh-]
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  1. a method of engraving on copper or steel by burnishing or scraping away a uniformly roughened surface.
  2. a print produced by this method.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to engrave in mezzotint.
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Origin of mezzotint

First recorded in 1730–40, mezzotint is from the Italian word mezzotinto half-tint. See mezzo, tint
Related formsmez·zo·tint·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mezzotint

Historical Examples

  • The mezzotint of Cotton Mather, made in 1727, sold for two shillings.

    Customs and Fashions in Old New England

    Alice Morse Earle

  • I never said that mezzotint ignored light and shade, or ought to do so.

  • Mezzotint is properly to be considered as chiaroscuro drawing on metal.

  • The edge of the mouth is defined by a mezzotint at the point of union.

  • Several of his portraits he engraved with his own hand in line and mezzotint.

British Dictionary definitions for mezzotint


  1. a method of engraving a copper plate by scraping and burnishing the roughened surface
  2. a print made from a plate so treated
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  1. (tr) to engrave (a copper plate) in this fashion
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Derived Formsmezzotinter, noun

Word Origin

C18: from Italian mezzotinto half tint
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 mezzotint


1738; see mezzo + tint. As a verb, from 1827.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper