[ prin-ting ]
/ ˈprɪn tɪŋ /


the art, process, or business of producing books, newspapers, etc., by impression from movable types, plates, etc.
the act of a person or thing that prints.
words, symbols, etc., in printed form.
printed material.
the total number of copies of a book or other publication printed at one time: The book had a first printing of 10,000.
writing in which the letters resemble printed ones.

Nearby words

  1. printer's error,
  2. printer's mark,
  3. printer's ream,
  4. printery,
  5. printhead,
  6. printing frame,
  7. printing ink,
  8. printing office,
  9. printing paper,
  10. printing press

Origin of printing

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at print, -ing1

Related formsnon·print·ing, 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 printing

British Dictionary definitions for printing


/ (ˈprɪntɪŋ) /


  1. the process, business, or art of producing printed matter
  2. (as modifier)printing ink
printed text
Also called: impression all the copies of a book or other publication printed at one time
a form of writing in which letters resemble printed letters


/ (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 printing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with printing


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.