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[dee-kal, dih-kal] /ˈdi kæl, dɪˈkæl/
a specially prepared paper bearing a picture or design for transfer to wood, metal, glass, etc.
the picture or design itself.
verb (used with object), decaled or decalled, decaling or decalling.
to apply decals on.
1950-55; shortened form of decalcomania Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for decal
  • The decal versions might also be useful in an office on campus.
  • The surface of the decal is a crude computer display which then replicates these colours and patterns.
  • Wires are duct-taped to the back and a bar-code decal applied.
  • Parents want the rear-window decal on the car for themselves.
  • Much of the tutorial covers printing onto decal film.
  • Look for the red, white, and blue decal in the window.
  • Few people give much thought to that sticky-backed decal affixed to our windshields.
British Dictionary definitions for decal


/dɪˈkæl; ˈdiːkæl/
short for decalcomania
to transfer (a design) by decalcomania
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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Word Origin and History for decal
1937 shortening of decalcomania, from Fr. decalcomanie, from decalquer, "transferring of a tracing from specially prepared paper to glass, porcelain, etc." (in vogue in France 1840s, England 1862-64), from de- "off" + calquer "to press," from It. calcare, from L. calcare "to tread on, press."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for decal


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for decal

design that is printed on specially prepared paper to form a film that can be transferred to any surface. Such films are widely used for decorating and labeling any objects that cannot be run through a press

Learn more about decal with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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