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magnetic ink character recognition: a technique for reading and processing data printed with ink that contains magnetic particles: used especially in sorting bank checks automatically.


a combining form with the meanings “small” (microcosm; microgamete), “very small in comparison with others of its kind” (microcassette; microlith), “too small to be seen by the unaided eye” (microfossil; microorganism), “dealing with extremely minute organisms, organic structures, or quantities of a substance” (microdissection; microscope), “localized, restricted in scope or area” (microburst; microhabitat), “(of a discipline) focusing on a restricted area” (microeconomics), “containing or dealing with texts that require enlargement to be read” (microfilm; microreader), “one millionth” (microgram).
Also, especially before a vowel, micr-.
Origin of micro-
< Greek: combining form representing mīkrós small
Can be confused
macro-, micro-. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for MICR


magnetic ink character recognition


combining form
small or minute: microspore
involving the use of a microscope: micrography
indicating a method or instrument for dealing with small quantities: micrometer
(in pathology) indicating abnormal smallness or underdevelopment: microcephaly, microcyte Compare macro- (sense 2)
denoting 10–6: microsecond, μ
Word Origin
from Greek mikros small
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 MICR


word-forming element meaning "small, microscopic; magnifying; one millionth," from Latinized comb. form of Greek mikros "small, little, petty, trivial, slight" (see mica).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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MICR in Medicine

micro- or micr-

  1. Small: microblast.

  2. Abnormally small: microcephaly.

  3. Requiring or involving microscopy: microsurgery.

  4. Symbol μ One-millionth (10-6): microliter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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MICR in Science
A prefix that means: "small" (as in microorganism) or "one millionth" (as in microsecond).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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MICR in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for MICR


magnetic ink character recognition
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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