verb (used with object), in·scribed, in·scrib·ing.

  1. to address or dedicate (a book, photograph, etc.) informally to a person, especially by writing a brief personal note in or on it.
  2. to mark (a surface) with words, characters, etc., especially in a durable or conspicuous way.
  3. to write, print, mark, or engrave (words, characters, etc.).
  4. to enroll, as on an official list.
  5. Geometry. to draw or delineate (one figure) within another figure so that the inner lies entirely within the boundary of the outer, touching it at as many points as possible: to inscribe a circle in a square.
  6. British.
    1. to issue (a loan) in the form of shares with registered stockholders.
    2. to sell (stocks).
    3. to buy (stocks).

verb (tr)

  1. to make, carve, or engrave (writing, letters, a design, etc) on (a surface such as wood, stone, or paper)
  2. to enter (a name) on a list or in a register
  3. to sign one’s name on (a book, photograph, etc) before presentation to another person
  4. to draw (a geometric construction such as a circle, polygon, etc) inside another construction so that the two are in contact but do not intersectCompare circumscribe (def. 3)

1550s (form inscriven is from late 14c.), from Latin inscribere “to write in or on,” (see inscription). Meaning “to dedicate (by means of an inscription)” is from 1640s. Related: Inscribed; inscribing.

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