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

  • n. A figure or design carved into or beneath the surface of hard metal or stone.
  • n. The art or process of carving a design in this manner.
  • n. A gemstone carved in intaglio.
  • n. Printing done with a plate bearing an image in intaglio.
  • n. A die incised so as to produce a design in relief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A design or piece of art which is engraved or etched into something.
  • n. Any printing method in which the ink is laid upon the sunken parts of the printing form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cutting or engraving; a figure cut into something, as a gem, so as to make a design depressed below the surface of the material; hence, anything so carved or impressed, as a gem, matrix, etc.; -- opposed to cameo. Also used adjectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To incise; engrave with a sunk pattern or design.
  • n. Incised engraving as opposed to carving in relief; ornamentation by lines, patterns, figures, etc., sunk or hollowed below the surface.
  • n. Hence A figure or work so produced; an incised representation or design.

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

  • n. glyptic art consisting of a sunken or depressed engraving or carving on a stone or gem (as opposed to cameo)
  • n. a printing process that uses an etched or engraved plate; the plate is smeared with ink and wiped clean, then the ink left in the recesses makes the print


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

Italian, from intagliare, to engrave : in-, in (from Latin; see in-2) + tagliare, to cut (from Vulgar Latin *talliāre, from Late Latin tāliāre; see tailor).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian from intagliare.


  • Etching, as well as engraving, falls under the umbrella term intaglio, in which a picture is carved onto a surface and the grooved areas hold the ink.

    Ways to Manage an Image

  • 21 The Eastern ring is rarely plain; and, its use being that of a signet, it is always in intaglio: the Egyptians invented engraving hieroglyphics on wooden stamps for marking bricks and applied the process to the ring.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Most of the countries in the world, the United States among them, print their currency using so-called intaglio presses, in which the design is cut into the printing plate, the ink fills the incisions, and the press comes down with enormous pressure, some 50 tons on every square centimeter of paper.

    The Secret War with Iran

  • The intaglio was a dark sard beautifully cut with the head of Minerva, and Mrs. Greyson's artistic instincts were keenly alive to the exquisite delicacy of its workmanship.

    The Pagans

  • Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have borrowed a technique from such "intaglio" printing to create snapshots describing the behavior of immune cell populations at a moment in time.


  • The flash page is intaglio printed if you can believe that.

    Gideon’s war

  • Though the text was still printed on a flat-bed press, copper engravings required an intaglio press, meaning a separate procedure.

    Four Centuries of Love and Suffering for the Word

  • Caches carved out of the live rock of the walls resembled two meter-high intaglio of scallop shells.

    Mandala « A Fly in Amber

  • "The dollar bill is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept -- it's the only bill that hasn't been altered in the past 15 years to meet the new standard of counterfeit-proof," said Wagner, who canvases Chase banks and favored bodegas for especially fresh and crispy dollar bills.

    Adrian Margaret Brune: The New Moneyed Art

  • What are the differences among woodcut, intaglio, screenprint and lithography?

    Ways to Manage an Image


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  • "I tipped a small puddle of melted wax onto the tabletop and set the fresh candle in it, heedless of damage to the Duke's intaglio."

    —Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 835

    January 3, 2010