1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. A marking, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A piece of material, such as a stone or metal tablet, that is inscribed.
4. An enrollment or a registration of names.
a. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
b. The usually informal dedication of a book or an artistic work.
[Middle English inscripcioun, statement giving the author or title of a book, from Latin īnscrīptiō, īnscrīptiōn-, from īnscrīptus, past participle of īnscrībere, to inscribe; see INSCRIBE.]
in·scription·al, in·scriptive adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.