1 : an exact copy
2 : a system of transmitting and reproducing graphic matter (as printing or still pictures) by means of signals sent over telephone lines
Did You Know?
The facsimile machine (or "fax machine") has been a staple of the modern office for a while now, and its name is much, much older. "Fac simile" is a Latin phrase meaning "make similar." English speakers began using "facsimile" as a noun meaning "an exact copy" in the late 1600s. In this sense, a facsimile might be a handwritten or hand drawn copy, or even a copy of a painting or statue. (Today, we also use the phrase "a reasonable facsimile" for a copy that is not exact but fairly close.) In the 1800s, people developed facsimile technology that could reproduce printed material via telegraph. Now, of course, we use telephone lines or wireless technology, and we usually call the resulting facsimile a "fax."
"Applications may not be submitted electronically or via facsimile and must be received by the Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts by 5 p.m. July 20." --From an article in the Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat, June 22, 2011
"People can continue to see a facsimile of the Emancipation Proclamation as part of the Henry Ford’s 'Discovering the Civil War' exhibit that runs through Sept. 5 at the Dearborn museum." -- From an article by Cassandra Spratling in the Detroit Free Press, June 22, 2011
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