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


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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 The tablet is inscribed with a portion of Gilgamesh, an epic poem considered one of the world's oldest works of literature, written in cuneiform -- a system of writing on clay tablets used in ancient Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "US wants to send ancient artifact Hobby Lobby bought for $1.6 million back to Iraq," 20 May 2020 Their names are inscribed on the Soldiers Memorial, and their hometown hero banners will be displayed every year on Public Square. cleveland, "Rain washes out one Brooklyn eatery, leaves a soggy mess elsewhere: Sun Postings," 18 May 2020 Vincent Tullo for The New York Times Over the years, architects have not been the only ones to inscribe New York’s skyline — the signature image of the last American century — across the urban ether. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "The Hidden Feats That Built New York’s Towering Skyscrapers," 29 Apr. 2020 The problem lay with Apodaca, which had already inscribed a flawed reading of that amendment into constitutional law. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s War Over Jury Trials Could Change Everything," 21 Apr. 2020 The first natural Chinese site to be inscribed as a UNESCO Heritage List site, the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area and Zhangjiajie charm millions of visitors per year; however, the majority of tourists are Chinese nationals. Nick Kontis, USA TODAY, "Zhangjiajie, China: Get hyped for 'Avatar 2' by visiting the place that inspired the film," 17 Dec. 2019 So Beethoven inscribed the manuscript of his greatest and most sublime masterpiece. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "From Kentucky to NYC, Louisville Orchestra's 2020-21 season is a 'Road to Carnegie Hall'," 23 Feb. 2020 After the game, the remaining Assabet girls unfurled a banner on the ice inscribed with Laing’s name over the image of a heart. Bob Hohler,, "Iced out: Elite youth hockey coaches at Assabet Valley suspended after abuse complaints," 15 Feb. 2020 The Minnesota Historical Society has newly digitized the Handsaker collection — all 40 volumes of his personal photos inscribed with elaborate calligraphy — and put them online for free viewing. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Minnesota Historical Society digitizes Handsaker annuals, puts historic collections free online," 26 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for inscribe

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inscribe

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inscribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce inscribe (audio)

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
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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