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stencil

[sten-suh l] /ˈstɛn səl/
noun
1.
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.
2.
the letters, designs, etc., produced on a surface by this method.
verb (used with object), stenciled, stenciling or (especially British) stencilled, stencilling.
3.
to mark or paint (a surface) by means of a stencil.
4.
to produce (letters, figures, designs, etc.) by means of a stencil.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; earlier stanesile, late Middle English stansele to ornament with diverse colors or spangles < Middle French estanceler, derivative of estencele a spark, ornamental spangle < Vulgar Latin *stincilla, metathetic variant of Latin scintilla scintilla
Related forms
stenciler; especially British, stenciller, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for stenciller

stencil

/ˈstɛnsəl/
noun
1.
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
2.
a decoration, design, or characters produced in this way
verb (transitive) -cils, -cilling, -cilled (US) -cils, -ciling, -ciled
3.
to mark (a surface) with a stencil
4.
to produce (characters or a design) with a stencil
Derived Forms
stenciller, noun
Word Origin
C14 stanselen to decorate with bright colours, from Old French estenceler, from estencele a spark, from Latin scintilla
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 stenciller
stencil
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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