in·​scribe | \ in-ˈskrīb How to pronounce inscribe (audio) \
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)

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Other Words from inscribe

inscriber noun

Synonyms for inscribe


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

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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

Visitors can buy padlocks at Bastille Days for $5, inscribe their declaration of love, and then fasten them to the sculptures. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The bands, the run, the Hop stop and everything else you need to know for Bastille Days in Milwaukee," 8 July 2019 Their hymnals are inscribed with the letters, as is the soaring temple that serves as the headquarters of La Luz del Mundo. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Must Reads: Sex crime case renews tension in Mexico between Catholics and evangelical church," 27 June 2019 And unlike legislation, which can be amended at the next session to correct flaws, most ballot measures approved by the people are inscribed in stone, at least until the next round of initiatives. Bob Egelko,, "California’s high court walks high wire on initiatives, 2 ex-justices say," 23 June 2019 His annals were inscribed on the sanctuary walls at the great Temple of Amun at Karnak. National Geographic, "Was this ancient Egypt's greatest military leader?," 10 June 2019 The influence of microbes is even inscribed on our genome: More than a third of human genes have their origins in bacteria. Quanta Magazine, "Where Animals Come From," 29 July 2014 Swatches of American prairie are inscribed with vast, circular dial patterns created by pivot irrigation machines that look strangely abstract, even malevolent. Steven Litt,, "Edward Burtynsky photos at Cleveland Museum of Art document mankind’s troubled relationship with water," 23 June 2019 Many of the books are inscribed with names, dates, and notes written by various Rockefeller family members and friends. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "David Rockefeller's Book Collection Is on Display at the NoMad Las Vegas," 6 Dec. 2018 The name refers to the Statue of Liberty and the poet Emma Lazarus, whose words are inscribed on the monument. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Inventive Indian Fare Arrives in the Theater District," 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.

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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

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Statistics for inscribe

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for inscribe

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

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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 How to pronounce inscribe (audio) \
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

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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).


something desired as essential

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