Definition of tête-bêche in US English:



  • (of a postage stamp) printed upside down or sideways relative to another.

    • ‘The design takes advantage of the tête-bêche printing format, using it to enhance the impact of the designs.’
    • ‘Normally, a sheet of tête-bêche stamps is broken up into panes for the booklets, but some of the sheets were sold to the public.’
    • ‘One of the finest known, original gum examples of the tête-bêche pair of 1856 Finland 5-kopek stamps from the Bill Gross Scandinavian Collection will be offered by Spink Shreves Galleries with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $75,000 in a public auction on May 16, 2008.’
    • ‘Three specimens of a cancelled tête-bêche block of four 10-kopeck oval stamps are known to exist.’
    • ‘The title is a Chinese translation of tête-bêche, which describes stamps that are printed top to bottom facing each other.’


French, from tête ‘head’ and bêche, contraction of obsolete béchevet ‘double bedhead’.