from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To write, print, carve, or engrave (words or letters) on or in a surface.
  • transitive v. To mark or engrave (a surface) with words or letters.
  • transitive v. To enter (a name) on a list or in a register.
  • transitive v. To sign one's name or write a brief message in or on (a gift book or photograph, for example).
  • transitive v. To dedicate to someone.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To draw (one figure) within another figure so that every vertex of the enclosed figure touches the outer figure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To write or cut words onto something, especially a hard surface; to engrave.
  • v. To draw a circle, sphere, etc. inside a polygon, polyhedron, etc. and tangent to all its sides.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To write or engrave; to mark down as something to be read; to imprint.
  • transitive v. To mark with letters, characters, or words.
  • transitive v. To assign or address to; to commend to by a short address; to dedicate informally.
  • transitive v. To imprint deeply; to impress; to stamp.
  • transitive v. To draw within so as to meet yet not cut the boundaries.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To write or engrave; mark, as letters or signs, by writing or engraving; specifically, to display in writing on something durable or conspicuous: as, to inscribe a name on a roll, tablet, or monument.
  • To write or engrave the name of, as on a list or tablet; enroll in writing: as, to be inscribed among the councilors.
  • To mark with characters or words.
  • To dedicate or commend (a book or other writing) by a short address less formal than a dedication.
  • To imprint deeply; impress: as, to inscribe something on the memory.
  • In geometry, to draw or delineate in or within, as chords or angles within a circle, or as a rectilinear figure within a curvilinear one.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. address, (a work of literature) in a style less formal than a dedication
  • v. write, engrave, or print as a lasting record
  • v. convert ordinary language into code
  • v. draw within a figure so as to touch in as many places as possible
  • v. carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface
  • v. mark with one's signature
  • v. register formally as a participant or member


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin īnscrībere : in-, in, on; see in-2 + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.


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  • The music comes together as I inscribe it on her thighs, rough-hewn rhythm to an inaudible pulse.


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