Definition of engrave in US English:



[with object]usually be engraved
  • 1Cut or carve (a text or design) on the surface of a hard object.

    ‘my name was engraved on the ring’
    • ‘Since pipes played an important role in the lives of the Indians, many are elaborately carved or decorated wood, with bowls of finely engraved soapstone.’
    • ‘The first character of the signature is badly engraved and hesitantly formed.’
    • ‘Waiting for Sean in the clubhouse was a beautiful five wood golf club with a hickory shaft with his name engraved on its smooth surface.’
    • ‘Mr Smith was buried at Eastbrookend Cemetery, Dagenham, and his name was engraved on the headstone of his family plot at Dagenham Parish Churchyard.’
    • ‘Strange shapes were engraved on the walls, images of birds and feathers and eyes.’
    • ‘Two rings of concave markings were engraved on its base and shoulder.’
    • ‘Sian's name has now been engraved on a plaque, which is kept in the chapel at the HMS Drake naval establishment, in Plymouth.’
    • ‘She stared into her reflection, and then focused onto the giant ‘T’ and ‘A’ that were engraved into the glass.’
    • ‘Then I began to study the emblem; an amazingly intricate design was delicately engraved on its surface.’
    • ‘The nine compound bowls have engraved designs.’
    • ‘Mr Moore, 59, employed to promote tourism and trade in London, said the 8in brass bell was clearly identifiable as his name was engraved on one side.’
    • ‘Floral designs formerly inlaid were now engraved and new designs including human figures and architectural scenes were introduced.’
    • ‘We have seen two other examples of the waffle knife, both having different but equally elaborate engraved decorative designs.’
    • ‘A looping ‘V. E. D.’ was engraved onto the smooth surface of the compact, revealing the compact's owner.’
    • ‘Their names have been engraved on a dry stone dyke at the museum.’
    • ‘Four letters were engraved inside the crystal: Kari.’
    • ‘The name of my great uncle is engraved on the war memorial in Radcliffe, opposite what was the town hall.’
    • ‘The names of each one of the 30 countries have been engraved on the plain grey surface of the memorial.’
    • ‘Charles Darwin once visited, and his words about the view have been engraved on a rock.’
    • ‘Sun designs were engraved all around it with a length of gold fabric going down the front and back from the belt.’
    carve, inscribe, cut, cut in, incise, chisel, chase, score, etch, imprint, impress, print, mark
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cut or carve a text or design on (such an object).
      • ‘The panels of bone inlay are engraved with animal designs, which retain traces of red, green, and yellow paint.’
      • ‘On each table was an engraved lead crystal glass.’
      • ‘The manufacturing process takes less than 15 minutes; and if a buyer wishes, a glass can be customised or engraved.’
      • ‘Beginning in the sixteenth century, the Venetians engraved some of their glasses using a tool with a diamond tip.’
      • ‘For a more elegant look, these engraved glasses will do the trick.’
      • ‘This particular knife was her pride and joy, a replica Knight's parrying dagger whose blade was finely engraved and sharp as a razor.’
      • ‘I had this engraved glass partition installed, to separate my office from the rest of the passenger seats.’
      • ‘I engrave glass professionally, we both adore music and we shall undoubtedly travel.’
      • ‘The stone memorial centrepiece is engraved with lines from William Shakespeare's 30th sonnet.’
      • ‘After cooling and polishing, the glass is ready to be engraved or cut using traditional tools and techniques.’
      • ‘If she has indeed been chosen, the plate will already be engraved with the same information as each of yours.’
      • ‘Towards the end of the 16th century in Germany, wine glasses are sophistically engraved as decoration.’
      • ‘I earned a distinction of sorts - in the form of a glass plaque engraved with our coat of arms and the title of the prize - but receiving it didn't feel good.’
      • ‘At the end of the hallway I was pushed through a large metal door engraved with pictures.’
      • ‘A clear glass screen engraved by the artist enables a visual connection to be made between the two buildings.’
      • ‘Large granite disks on the ground either side of the Line are engraved with poems from each of the countries.’
      • ‘Our glass was engraved and painted.’
      • ‘In the 19th century, numerous banks were set up throughout the country and were often engraved with a design identifying the locality.’
      • ‘The gravestone will be engraved with the name Gwen.’
      • ‘Symbolizing the Twin Towers, the walls will be engraved with the names of each victim in 4-inch letters.’
    2. 1.2 Cut (a design) as lines on a metal plate for printing.
      • ‘In order to move beyond shoemaker Lane's effort and produce globes his neighbors would be proud to own, Wilson had to learn to engrave his maps on copper plates.’
      • ‘The bank engraves banknote images into metal plates by hand and uses special inks and watermarks to prevent forgery.’
      • ‘He designed and engraved the plates for the first paper money in Massachusetts and established the first mill for rolling copper sheets.’
      • ‘In engraving, fine lines are incised directly into the plate and the burrs removed to produce clean, sharp lines on the print.’
      • ‘He was soon engraving large plates of landscape views and scientific specimens for federal government reports of exploring expeditions.’
      • ‘His simply read narrative style is exemplified in his 1744 series of twelve subjects from Samuel Richardson's Pamela which were engraved in 1745 and published to much acclaim.’
    3. 1.3be engraved on" or "in Be permanently fixed in (one's memory or mind)
      ‘the image would be forever engraved in his memory’
      • ‘Unlike personal memories or shared recollections from family gatherings, the memory of the events of last September was engraved in our consciousness through the media.’
      • ‘What she said though would be engraved in my mind forever.’
      • ‘Everything I had experienced, everything I had learned that eventful summer would forever be engraved in my mind.’
      • ‘Even now, 2 years later, the number is engraved in my mind.’
      • ‘But there is one picture from last week that will forever be engraved on the American memory.’
      • ‘I'm not exactly sure why this incident is engraved in my memory out of all the times I told people to go home when there was a curfew, but there was something so noble about him.’
      • ‘The murder is engraved on our memories… and goes against everything that is dear to us in the Netherlands.’
      • ‘It was a moment that will forever be engraved in my mind and in the minds of all South Africans.’
      • ‘The image was engraved in her mind, as she regained consciousness.’
      • ‘She didn't remember much but the last night was engraved in her mind.’
      • ‘One that would be engraved in her young, impressionable memory forever.’
      • ‘It will be engraved in the memory of its children in future as the bloodiest war in history.’
      • ‘It will always be engraved in my memory, always forever as the single line that gave my heart away to Lindsay.’
      • ‘This trip is one that will be engraved in my mind forever.’
      • ‘And before he could even talk, these melodies had been engraved in his memory.’
      • ‘While Flight was the first horse whose story was engraved in my mind and heart, he will not be the last.’
      fix, set, imprint, stamp, brand, impress, deboss, embed, etch, ingrain, lodge, register, record
      View synonyms


  • be engraved in stone


Late 15th century (formerly also as ingrave): from en-, in- ‘in, on’ + grave, influenced by obsolete French engraver.