stencil definition by Webster's New World
Origin: ; from Middle English stansilen, to ornament with spangles ; from Old French estenceler ; from estencele, spangle, spark ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form stincilla, for Classical Latin scintilla, spark: see scintillate
- a thin sheet, as of paper, metal, or impermeable film, with holes cut through in the shape of letters or designs: when ink, paint, etc. is spread over the stencil, the letters or designs are marked on the surface beneath
- a pattern, design, letter, etc. made by stenciling
stencil definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A sheet, as of plastic or cardboard, in which a desired lettering or design has been cut so that ink or paint applied to the sheet will reproduce the pattern on the surface beneath.
- The lettering or design produced with such a sheet.
- The process of printing with such a sheet.
- To mark with a stencil.
- To produce by stencil.
Origin: From Middle English stencelled, adorned brightly, from Old French estenceler, to adorn brightly, from estencele, spark, from Vulgar Latin *stincilla, alteration of Latin scintilla, spark.
- stenˈcil·er noun
stencil (left) and painted motif