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composing stick

noun, Printing.
1.
a portable, adjustable, usually metal tray that the compositor holds in one hand while placing in it type gathered with the other hand.
Also called job stick.
Origin of composing stick
1670-1680
1670-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for composing stick
Historical Examples
  • Set the letters in line in a composing stick, with nicks all one way, and then distribute them in the usual way.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • He did work till midnight; then—in spite of the threat that he would be discharged—he laid down his composing stick on the case.

    The Book of Courage John Thomson Faris
  • He stands before his case with a "composing stick" in his hand.

    Makers of Many Things Eva March Tappan
  • GalleyA shallow tray used by compositors to hold type after the lines have been set and transferred from the composing stick.

  • What if Burns had been ashamed of his plough, and Franklin had lost his recollection of the candle-moulds and the composing stick?

  • In no other way can the niceties of typography be so thoroughly or conveniently learned as with composing stick and type case.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • Lines that will fall down when the composing stick is slightly tipped forward are too loosely justified.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • First place the composing stick conveniently at hand, with its back toward the compositor.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • Bobby set up the matter in the composing stick—and promptly pied it when he attempted to move it to the chase.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde Stewart Edward White
  • If the composing stick will accommodate each line of verse in a line of type the composition will be much simplified.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
British Dictionary definitions for composing stick

composing stick

noun
1.
(printing) a metal holder of adjustable width in which a compositor sets a line of type at a time by hand; now rarely used
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Difficulty index for composing stick

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for composing

16
21
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