1. the only print made from a metal or glass plate on which a picture is painted in oil color, printing ink, or the like.
  2. the method of producing such a print.
  3. Biology. the only type of its group, as a single species constituting a genus.

Origin of monotype

First recorded in 1880–85; mono- + -type


Printing, Trademark.
  1. a brand of machine for setting and casting type, consisting of a separate keyboard for producing a paper tape containing holes in a coded pattern so that when this tape is fed into the casting unit each code evokes a unique letter cast from hot metal by a special matrix. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for monotype

Historical Examples of monotype

  • These machines are called respectively the Linotype and Monotype.

  • What are the essential differences between a Monotype and a Linotype?


    A. A. Stewart

  • It is called the monotype because it casts and sets up the type piece by piece.

    Stories of Inventors

    Russell Doubleday

  • It will be seen, therefore, that the casting portion of the monotype machine is actually automatic.

  • "This is a monotype," said Mr. Buckingham Smith, picking up a dusty print off the window-sill.

    The Roll-Call

    Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for monotype


  1. a single print made from a metal or glass plate on which a picture has been painted
  2. biology a monotypic genus or species


  1. trademark any of various typesetting systems, esp originally one in which each character was cast individually from hot metal
  2. type produced by such a system
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 monotype

1881 in biology; 1882 in printers' arts; 1893 as a brand name of typesetting machine; see mono- + type.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper