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pho·​to·​copy ˈfō-tə-ˌkä-pē How to pronounce photocopy (audio)
: a copy of usually printed material made with a process in which an image is formed by the action of light usually on an electrically charged surface


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photocopied; photocopying; photocopies

transitive verb

: to make a photocopy of

intransitive verb

: to make a photocopy
photocopier noun

Examples of photocopy in a Sentence

Noun She made a photocopy of the letter.
Recent Examples on the Web
Copies of important paperwork: Keep photocopies of important household paperwork such as proof of address, driver's license, insurance, adoption papers, or naturalization certificates. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 Some prisoners will only get black-and-white photocopies of their mail. Sanya Mansoor, Time, 20 July 2023 Only on closer inspection does the viewer note a small photocopy of Bradley’s yearbook photo, high up amid the blackness. Mark Feeney,, 7 June 2023 Pinned to a corkboard in the office is a photocopy of a handwritten letter from Ginsberg. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 23 June 2023 In one case, a Swedish official suggested that the Sudanese visa applicant use a photocopy of his passport in lieu of his travel document. Sana Noor Haq, CNN, 28 Apr. 2023 Democrats said voter identification laws have been used to disenfranchise voters and that the provision applying to mail-in voting — requiring the voter to insert a photocopy of their identification into their ballot envelope — will compromise the secrecy of someone’s ballot., 15 June 2021 Gently roll and insert photocopies into glass vessels, such as bottles, jars, and glasses, using a long, thin tool to adjust them inside. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 May 2023 In fact, only a photocopy of it was later submitted as evidence. Jake Pearson, ProPublica, 27 Apr. 2023
Gregory photocopied Garner’s letter and showed it to people; the young women who made the accusations against him read the letter and refused to talk to her. Helen Sullivan, The New Yorker, 26 Oct. 2023 To add the animation later, each frame that Schmidt cut was then photocopied as an 8×10 blow-up. Rhett Bartlett, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Aug. 2023 But energetic fans sustained the work, with zines passed around on floppy disks, photocopied and then read online. Emily Hart, New York Times, 10 June 2023 When a fourth seller with an F-150 came through the door, Lorette's team photocopied all the information, recorded the man on video and declined his transaction. Detroit Free Press, 9 June 2023 The Associated Press reported last year that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons had started to photocopy mail at some correctional facilities and was exploring the possibility of using a vendor to scan correspondence and send digital files to kiosks in prisons. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, 23 Oct. 2020 Some of the papers looked liked they had been repeatedly photocopied and had inconsistent seals and stamps, according to the complaint. Cary Spivak, Journal Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2023 On the ground outside a boutique hotel whose rooms were named after Hittite kings and Greek goddesses are remnants of previous lives: photocopied notes on gland tumors, a battered jean jacket, a container of baby food. Salwan Georges, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2023 Benjy Mason, who worked at Canopy around 2010, remembers having to photocopy driver's licenses and process paper forms. Emma Balter, Chron, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'photocopy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use


1879, in the meaning defined above


1924, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of photocopy was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near photocopy

Cite this Entry

“Photocopy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a copy of usually printed material made using a process in which an image is formed by the action of light on an electrically charged surface
photocopy verb

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