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."
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 Britannica.com