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Any of various processes of cutting a design into a plate or block of metal or wood. The cutting is done by a graver, or burin, on a copper, zinc, aluminum, or magnesium plate, and the design is printed with a roller press from ink rubbed into the incised grooves. Wood engraving derives from the woodcut, but the use of the hard, smooth boxwood, cut with the burin commonly used by the copper-plate engraver, produces a finer, more detailed image. By contrast with engraving from metal plates, the printing of wood engravings is done from the surface of the plate or block; the parts that are not to be printed are cut away. See alsoetching.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on engraving, visit Britannica.com.