- a device for applying a pattern, design, words, etc., to a surface, consisting of a thin sheet of cardboard, metal, or other material from which figures or letters have been cut out, a coloring substance, ink, etc., being rubbed, brushed, or pressed over the sheet, passing through the perforations and onto the surface.
- the letters, designs, etc., produced on a surface by this method.
- to mark or paint (a surface) by means of a stencil.
- to produce (letters, figures, designs, etc.) by means of a stencil.
Origin of stencil
Examples from the Web for stenciling
It is a white wood and shows printing and stenciling clearly.American Forest Trees
Henry H. Gibson
The only light in the room came from the street-lamp, stenciling the vines on the drawn shades.Caleb West, Master Diver
F. Hopkinson Smith
I promise you solemnly I'll never touch a cake of soap to any stenciling I do.Ethel Morton and the Christmas Ship
Mabell S. C. Smith
Muelle uses quantities of solid embroidery and appliqu work, where other costumers are content with stenciling and gilding.Confessions of an Opera Singer
Problem—Circular cutting, grooving, stenciling, and coloring.Construction Work for Rural and Elementary Schools
- a device for applying a design, characters, etc, to a surface, consisting of a thin sheet of plastic, metal, cardboard, etc in which the design or characters have been cut so that ink or paint can be applied through the incisions onto the surface
- a decoration, design, or characters produced in this way
- to mark (a surface) with a stencil
- to produce (characters or a design) with a stencil
Word Origin and History for stenciling
1707, not recorded again until 1848, probably from Middle English stencellen "decorate with bright colors," from Middle French estenceler "cover with sparkles or stars, powder with color," from estencele "spark, spangle," from Vulgar Latin *stincilla, metathesis of Latin scintilla "spark."
"to produce a design with a stencil," 1861, from stencil (n.). Related: Stenciled; stenciling.