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[li-thog-ruh-fee] /lɪˈθɒg rə fi/
the art or process of producing a picture, writing, or the like, on a flat, specially prepared stone, with some greasy or oily substance, and of taking ink impressions from this as in ordinary printing.
a similar process in which a substance other than stone, as aluminum or zinc, is used.
Compare offset (def 6).
1700-10; < Neo-Latin lithographia. See litho-, -graphy
Related forms
[lith-uh-graf-ik] /ˌlɪθ əˈgræf ɪk/ (Show IPA),
lithographical, adjective
lithographically, adverb
unlithographic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for lithography
  • We're running into a barrier that we've run up against several times before: the limits of optical lithography.
  • Within two years, artists could study etching, lithography or woodblock at the league.
  • Production of the stamp is by a combination of engraving and lithography.
  • Entangled photons can dramatically reduce the feature sizes possible with lithography.
  • The researchers use an expensive technique called interference lithography to make the grating.
  • First the alumina on the substrate is precisely patterned using lithography and then etching is performed using chemicals.
  • The basic principle of lithography, otherwise known as offset printing, is based on the fact that ink and water don't mix.
  • Akin to photography, lithography is used to print circuits onto microchips.
  • For a new lithography technology to be successful, the supporting ecosystem must be developed years in advance.
  • Writing errors do occur, but the crosses require only low-resolution binary lithography.
British Dictionary definitions for lithography


a method of printing from a metal or stone surface on which the printing areas are not raised but made ink-receptive while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent
Derived Forms
lithographer, noun
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin lithographia, from litho- + -graphy
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 lithography
1813, from Ger. Lithographie (c.1804), coined from Gk. lithos "stone" + graphein "write." The original printing surfaces were of stone. Process invented 1796 by Alois Senefelder of Munich (1771-1833). Hence, lithograph "a lithographic print," a back-formation first attested 1828. Earlier senses, now obsolete, were "description of stones or rocks" (1708) and "art of engraving on precious stones" (1730).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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