Definition of autograph in English:



  • 1A signature, especially that of a celebrity written as a memento for an admirer.

    ‘fans surged around the car asking for autographs’
    • ‘Apart from autographs, the gallery also sells small pieces of signed film footage, framed and mounted, the cheapest items in the shop.’
    • ‘A number of youngsters approached the car and asked for autographs, but were turned away by a security guard.’
    • ‘They made a real effort with everyone, posing for pictures and giving autographs.’
    • ‘When there is news of a show, fans will find out where the band is staying and try to book rooms in the hotel in the hope they can at least get a glimpse of the celebrity, talk to them or get their autograph.’
    • ‘But back in Bolton at the weekend, the 17 year-old wonderkid spent far longer than 97 minutes meeting fans and signing autographs at a celebration in his honour.’
    • ‘His job, and his obsession, is collecting and trading in the autographs of celebrities.’
    • ‘The staff were delighted to meet our newest celebrities, and they all got autographs, and said the group were very nice.’
    • ‘The veteran campaigner drew greetings from passing cars, and signed autographs and shook hands with endless supporters.’
    • ‘It wasn't everyday you met someone who didn't want your autograph when they realized you were a celebrity.’
    • ‘The four day exhibition, organised by the Autograph Collectors Club of India, has on display over 1,000 autographs from collectors across the country.’
    • ‘A small boy approached him later and there was Richard, pen poised, ready to sign an autograph for this admirer.’
    • ‘And in almost all cases it was the very same - no one seemed to ask for an autograph for themselves, it was always for my son, my daughter, my father, even granny got a few autographs.’
    • ‘They all wanted our autographs just because they saw us wearing the British kit.’
    • ‘All the while, Adam was politely giving autographs and smiling graciously to the fans and admirers.’
    • ‘According to experts, an autograph of a famous person on a share certificate can greatly enhance its value.’
    • ‘The signature of a murderer and autographs from the Royal Family will go on sale in Swindon next week.’
    • ‘Now the heat is on to get as many celebrity autographs as possible.’
    • ‘Most of those who write to the stars, ask for an autograph, a photograph, or an autographed photograph, so it is quite easy to fulfil the requests.’
    • ‘I still have their autographs, written in English and Chinese, in my autograph album.’
    • ‘He signs autographs for those who are kind enough to write.’
    • ‘Needless to say, lots of photos were taken and Tony was kept extremely busy signing autographs and chatting to his many young admirers.’
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  • 2A manuscript or musical score in an author's or musician's own handwriting.

    ‘the earliest version of the work is possibly an autograph’
    • ‘The Cainan difference is not an error in the original autographs of Scripture, but one of the extremely few copyist's errors in the manuscripts available today.’
    1. 2.1mass noun A person's handwriting.
      ‘a songbook in Purcell's autograph’
      • ‘Fernandes left in autograph over 250 festal chanzonetas and villancicos.’
      handwriting, writing, hand, pen, letters, longhand, penmanship, calligraphy, chirography
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[with object]
  • Write one's signature on (something); sign.

    ‘the whole team autographed a shirt for him’
    • ‘He had a pile of baseballs in front of him and he was autographing them.’
    • ‘I used to see him in service stations at 2am in the morning autographing serviettes for staff.’
    • ‘Letters and documents autographed by the great and the good can create a lot of interest among specialist collectors.’
    • ‘Baseball cards and autographed photographs festooned the wall as in a teenager's bedroom.’
    • ‘He autographed a picture showing the two leaders sitting together and asked that it be disseminated across the country.’
    • ‘The first 100 copies are autographed by the band, so get one while they're still in supply.’
    • ‘Would you do me the honor of autographing my copy?’
    • ‘He worked the room slowly and patiently, autographing the flags, the rosettes, even proffered napkins.’
    • ‘You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written.’
    • ‘I'll be there autographing copies of my new Tiger book.’
    • ‘The window rolled down and a hand reached out and began autographing my forehead.’
    • ‘After the service, Alexander retreats to an office in the back of the building, where he spends the next hour autographing pictures and answering mail from fans.’
    • ‘I should thank you for autographing my copy last year when my classmates bought it as a birthday gift.’
    • ‘The author, who seemed a wee bit surprised by their presence in the shop, autographed the copies.’
    • ‘It turns out that a lot of the musicians had autographed instruments.’
    • ‘He demonstrated extraordinary patience as he posed for photographs and autographed all sorts of items.’
    • ‘He autographed copies of the directory for excited fans.’
    • ‘After the program was over, books were for sale and I was autographing them.’
    • ‘He was never unfriendly, always autographing bits of paper and napkins.’
    sign, write one's signature on, sign one's name on
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  • 1Written in the author's own handwriting.

    ‘an autograph manuscript’
    • ‘After the premiere, this autograph manuscript was used for the preparation of the first edition.’
    • ‘Both the melody and the four-part harmonisation are printed as facsimile reproductions of the composer's autograph manuscript.’
    • ‘Some 800 autograph letters survive, perhaps a year's effort for the mature Stanford.’
    • ‘The original Italian version has recently come to light, discovered in an autograph manuscript held in the Vatican Library.’
    • ‘For the first time, we have detailed studies of all of Purcell's autograph manuscripts, together with surveys of the important secondary sources.’
    • ‘In his autograph scores the solo part is often only sketched in or partly notated, and it is clear that he improvised throughout a performance, not just in his cadenzas.’
    • ‘Historically, sketches have been autograph manuscripts, but today a sketch of an electronic work might be in the form of a tape, or notation might be realized in a computer notation program, and so on.’
    1. 1.1 (of a painting or sculpture) done by the artist, not by a copier.
      ‘five of the drawings are accepted as autograph’
      • ‘The surviving drawings related to these prints are held to be autograph by contemporary Bruegel scholars.’
      • ‘The computer has succeeded in dividing a set of landscape drawings by the artist between autograph works and others along the same lines as art historians.’
      • ‘Prized for their status as original autograph works of Greek art, these images stood as witnesses to the civilizing power of Rome.’
      • ‘It entered the gallery under a false provenance and for a short time in the nineteenth century was regarded as autograph.’


Early 17th century: from French autographe or late Latin autographum, from Greek autographon, neuter of autographos ‘written with one's own hand’, from autos ‘self’ + graphos ‘written’.