a device for applying a pattern, design, words, etc., to a surface, consisting of a thin sheet of cardboard, metal, or other material from which figures or letters have been cut out, a coloring substance, ink, etc., being rubbed, brushed, or pressed over the sheet, passing through the perforations and onto the surface.
the letters, designs, etc., produced on a surface by this method.
verb (used with object), stenciled, stenciling or (especially British) stencilled, stencilling.
to mark or paint (a surface) by means of a stencil.
to produce (letters, figures, designs, etc.) by means of a stencil.
1375-1425; earlier stanesile,late Middle Englishstansele to ornament with diverse colors or spangles < Middle Frenchestanceler, derivative of estencele a spark, ornamental spangle < Vulgar Latin*stincilla, metathetic variant of Latinscintillascintilla
a device for applying a design, characters, etc, to a surface, consisting of a thin sheet of plastic, metal, cardboard, etc in which the design or characters have been cut so that ink or paint can be applied through the incisions onto the surface
a decoration, design, or characters produced in this way
1707, not recorded again until 1848, probably from M.E. stencellen "decorate with bright colors," from M.Fr. estenceler "cover with sparkles or stars, powder with color," from estencele "spark, spangle," from V.L. *stincilla, metathesis of L. scintilla "spark." The verb meaning "to produce a design with a stencil" is first recorded 1861.