in·​scribe | \in-ˈskrīb \
inscribed; inscribing; inscribes

Definition of inscribe 

transitive verb

1a : to write, engrave, or print as a lasting record

b : to enter on a list : enroll

2a : to write, engrave, or print characters upon

b : to autograph or address (a book) as a gift

3 : to dedicate to someone

4 : to draw within a figure so as to touch in as many places as possible a regular polygon inscribed in a circle

5 British : to register the name of the holder of (a security)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inscribe

inscriber noun

Synonyms for inscribe


engrave, etch, grave, incise, insculp [archaic]

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of inscribe in a Sentence

They inscribed the monument with the soldiers' names. The book was inscribed with the author's signature.

Recent Examples on the Web

Even after voting rights were inscribed in the Constitution, Jim Crow laws and campaigns of racist terrorism prevented African Americans from exercising the right to vote. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 For his part, Cantera has floated ideas for compromise, such as inscribing the names of every person buried in the Valley on the exterior portico or displaying the names on a digital screen inside. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 The collection includes medieval and Renaissance paintings, majolica ceramics, and the Iguvine Tables, a set of seven ancient bronze tablets inscribed in the Umbrian language. Laura Itzkowitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Rome," 5 Mar. 2018 Her initials and the date of the wedding were inscribed in the soles of her Aquazzura Mary Janes. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Talk About the Hidden Details in Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Wedding Looks," 26 Oct. 2018 The 2,000-year-old paintings that adorn the walls of the tomb's main chamber tell a story in five panels, each inscribed with dialog from some of the characters. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 The names are inscribed on the park's Honoring Our Fallen Memorial Wall. Joy Resmovits,, "Where to honor America's fallen soldiers around L.A. this Memorial Day," 27 May 2018 The columns are inscribed with the names of more than 4,000 victims. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Five Things to See at Alabama’s New Memorial to Lynching Victims," 25 Apr. 2018 Someone had used a permanent marker to inscribe a heart and an Instagram account name on a rock at Angels Landing in Zion National park. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "He took a photo of graffiti at Zion National Park. Social media found the vandal, officials say | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of inscribe

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inscribe

Middle English, from Latin inscribere, from in- + scribere to write — more at scribe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inscribe

Statistics for inscribe

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inscribe

The first known use of inscribe was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inscribe



English Language Learners Definition of inscribe

: to write or cut (words, a name, etc.) on something

: to write words, a name, etc., on (something)


in·​scribe | \in-ˈskrīb \
inscribed; inscribing

Kids Definition of inscribe

1 : to write, engrave, or print as a lasting record His name is inscribed on the monument.

2 : to write, engrave, or print something on or in inscribe a book


transitive verb
inscribed; inscribing

Legal Definition of inscribe 

: to set down in writing (as the terms of a mortgage) to create a lasting public record

Other Words from inscribe

inscription noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on inscribe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inscribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inscribe

Spanish Central: Translation of inscribe

Nglish: Translation of inscribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inscribe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inscribe

What made you want to look up inscribe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!