copy·​ist | \ ˈkä-pē-ist How to pronounce copyist (audio) \

Definition of copyist

1 : one who makes copies
2 : imitator

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Examples of copyist in a Sentence

she prides herself on being an innovator in fashion, and not a mere copyist some scholars argue that the vexing passage reflects a misreading of the text by an early copyist
Recent Examples on the Web The pirate could even be the copyist, who could clandestinely make another copy, spirit it out to another publisher, sometimes even before the legitimate one. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Bubble, Bubble, but No Trouble (Yet)," 29 Dec. 2020 An accomplished copyist of great artworks, Bradley Stevens has long specialized in painting them in their natural habitat: arrayed in the hushed galleries of major museums where they’re being perused by visitors. Washington Post, "In the galleries: A satire on images of women and the objects they advertise," 25 Dec. 2020 Was an artist who merely reproduced the fronts of soup cans descending to the level of a labelmaker—or, worse, of a mere copyist—or could appropriation, as an artistic gesture, trump any actual gesture an artist might make with hand and brush? Blake Gopnik, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Andy Warhol Came to Paint Campbell’s Soup Cans," 10 May 2020 Think Warhol was just a copyist with a canny eye for color and subject matter? Steve Johnson,, "Andy Warhol 'A to B’ comes to Art Institute Chicago, the first big retrospective in decades," 23 Oct. 2019 What that meant, Mr. Wollny said, was that Bach typically had to write a cantata in three days — from, say, Sunday afternoon to Wednesday morning — before turning it over to copyists to prepare the parts for rehearsal. James R. Oestreich, New York Times, "What Does It Mean to Play the ‘Best’ of Bach?," 22 June 2018 The Japanese are known as expert copyists, but don’t expect an exact facsimile of Western food. Stan Parish, WSJ, "‘Go Beyond Sushi’: Tokyo’s Culinary Gems," 19 June 2018 The difference between a designer and a copyist is that a designer makes his source material into something else, something his own Hanya Yanagihara, New York Times, "Dries Van Noten, Icon of Creative Freedom," 16 Oct. 2017 The name of the copyist was a student of Ibn Hajar’s, who had hastily scrawled the work down after hearing it aloud from the mouth of the author himself. Joel Blecher, The Atlantic, "A Newly Discovered Manuscript and Its Lesson on Islam," 28 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copyist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of copyist

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for copyist

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The first known use of copyist was in 1696

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copyist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for copyist



English Language Learners Definition of copyist

: someone who made copies of documents or maps by hand before printing became common
: someone who copies the style or design of something (such as a work of art or piece of clothing)

More from Merriam-Webster on copyist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for copyist

Britannica English: Translation of copyist for Arabic Speakers

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