in·​ta·​glio | \ in-ˈtal-(ˌ)yō How to pronounce intaglio (audio) , -ˈtäl-; -ˈta-glē-ˌō, -ˈtä- How to pronounce intaglio (audio) \
plural intaglios

Definition of intaglio

1a : an engraving or incised figure in stone or other hard material depressed below the surface so that an impression from the design yields an image in relief
b : the art or process of executing intaglios
c : printing (as in die stamping and gravure) done from a plate in which the image is sunk below the surface
2 : something (such as a gem) carved in intaglio

Illustration of intaglio

Illustration of intaglio

intaglio 1a

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Did You Know?

Engraved or incised work where the design is sunk into the surface is called intaglio, and is the opposite of cameo, where the design is in relief. Intaglio designs are made on gemstones, glass, ceramics, stone, or similar material. It is the most ancient form of gem engraving: the earliest known Babylonian cylinder seals date from c. 4000 bce. The term intaglio is also used to describe printmaking processes in which the design is cut, scratched, or etched into a printmaking surface of copper, zinc, or aluminum; ink is then rubbed into the incisions or grooves, the surface wiped clean, and the paper is embossed into the incised lines with pressure from a roller press. Intaglio processes are the most versatile of printmaking methods, as they can produce a wide range of effects.

Examples of intaglio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The store linoleum installer, Bud Fritzke, was attending night art classes at the U of M and making intaglio prints, and the owner, Florian Herring, was a stage actor for Lakeside Players in White Bear Lake. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: More police, less crime?," 13 Sep. 2019 The dark green intaglio features the god Mars holding a spear and trophy. Fox News, "Man unearths 670-year-old medieval ring: 'What a piece of history'," 24 Aug. 2019 As a weapon, intaglio is more formidable than a water balloon. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Some art is sultry, while other pieces are smoky," 19 July 2019 Curator Pontoni was drawn to his woodcuts and intaglio prints., "22 things to do in Cleveland the weekend of May 10-13," 10 May 2018 Marc Auclert, a decorative arts historian whose Paris store, steps from Place Vendôme, is a treasure chest of ancient intaglios and cameos fashioned a new, points to the 19th century. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Cameo Jewelry Is Having a Moment," 3 May 2018 The community also has an intaglio on the 1200 block of Riverside Drive. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fort Atkinson’s historic water tower rises high above the prairie," 18 Aug. 2017 On this chalcedony intaglio from Greece, circa the 2nd or 3rd century BC, a nymph ties up her hair in a ribbon. Vogue, "Dior, De Beers, and Repossi, Oh My! A Virtual Tour Through the Fall 2017 High Jewelry Collections," 7 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intaglio.' 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 intaglio

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for intaglio

Italian, from intagliare to engrave, cut, from Medieval Latin intaliare, from Latin in- + Late Latin taliare to cut — more at tailor

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Time Traveler for intaglio

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The first known use of intaglio was in 1644

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Cite this Entry

“Intaglio.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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