[ prin-ter ]
/ ˈprɪn tər /


a person or thing that prints, especially a person whose occupation is printing.
Computers. an output device that produces a paper copy of alphanumeric or graphic data.
an instrument that automatically records telegraphic messages by means of a printing mechanism activated by incoming signals.
Movies. a photographic machine through which either the negative or positive of a master print can be run, together with unexposed film, to make a duplicate.

Nearby words

  1. printanier,
  2. printback,
  3. printed circuit,
  4. printed circuit board,
  5. printed matter,
  6. printer's devil,
  7. printer's error,
  8. printer's mark,
  9. printer's ream,
  10. printery

Origin of printer

First recorded in 1495–1505; print + -er1

Related formsprint·er·like, adjective

Origin of print

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English prent(e), print(e), prient(e) < Old French priente impression, print, noun use of feminine past participle of preindre to press1 < Latin premere; (v.) Middle English prenten, derivative of the noun

Related formsun·print·ed, adjectivewell-print·ed, adjective

Can be confusedprince prints Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for printer

British Dictionary definitions for printer


/ (ˈprɪntə) /


a person or business engaged in printing
a machine or device that prints
computing an output device for printing results on paper


/ (prɪnt) /



See also print out

Word Origin for print

C13 priente, from Old French: something printed, from preindre to make an impression, from Latin premere to press

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 printer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with printer


In addition to the idiom beginning with print

  • print out

also see:

  • go out (of print)
  • in print
  • small print
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.