AskDefine | Define imprint

Dictionary Definition



1 a distinctive influence; "English stills bears the imprint of the Norman invasion"
2 a concavity in a surface produced by pressing; "he left the impression of his fingers in the soft mud" [syn: depression, impression]
3 an identification of a publisher; a publisher's name along with the date and address and edition that is printed at the bottom of the title page; "the book was publsihed under a distinguished imprint"
4 an impression produced by pressure or printing [syn: embossment]
5 a device produced by pressure on a surface


1 establish or impress firmly in the mind; "We imprint our ideas onto our children" [syn: form]
2 mark or stamp with or as if with pressure; "To make a batik, you impress a design with wax" [syn: impress]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French empreinte (noun), empreinter (verb), from the past participle of empreindre, from Latin imprimere.




  1. An impression; the mark left behind by printing something.
    The day left an imprint in my mind.
  2. The name and details of a publisher or printer, as printed in a book etc.; a publishing house.
  3. A distinctive marking, symbol or logo.
    The shirts bore the company imprint on the right sleeve.


an impression; the mark left behind by printing something
  • Finnish: jälki, painauma
  • German: Gepräge, Abdruck, Aufdruck
  • Hungarian: nyom, lenyomat
the name and details of a publisher or printer, as printed in a book etc
  • German: Impressum
  • Hungarian: impresszum
a distinctive marking, symbol or logo
  • German: Gepräge, Aufdruck


  1. To leave a print, impression, image, etc.
    For a fee, they can imprint the envelopes with a monogram.


To leave a print, impression, image, etc.

Extensive Definition

In the publishing industry, an imprint is a brand name under which a work is published. One single publishing company may have multiple imprints; the different imprints are used by the publisher to market the work to different demographic consumer segments. In some cases, the diversity results from the takeover of smaller publishers (or parts of their business) by a larger company.
It can also refer to a finer distinction than "edition"—used to distinguish, for example different printings, or printing runs of the same edition, or to distinguish the same edition produced by a different publisher or printer. With the creation of the "ISBN" identification system, which is assigned to a text prior to its printing, a different imprint has effectively come to mean a text with a different ISBN—if one had been assigned to it.

Examples of imprints

Below are a few examples of imprints, sorted by publishing company in alphabetical order, showing the diversity of imprints and how widely they are used in the publishing industry. This list is intended to show examples, not be a comprehensive list, so no more than a few imprints per publishing house are given. Notice that it is possible for imprints to be organized under a publisher that is itself an imprint of an even larger publishing house.
  • St. Martin's Press
    • St. Martin's Griffin
    • St. Martin's Minotaur
    • Picador USA
    • Thomas Dunne Books
    • Truman Talley Books
The word imprint or masthead is sometimes used on international websites. This is usually a mistake based on the incorrect translation of German websites which are required by German law to contain an "Impressum" (legals, website details).

See also

imprint in German: Imprint
imprint in Hungarian: Impresszum
imprint in Polish: Imprint
imprint in Russian: импрессум
imprint in Japanese: インプリント
imprint in Albanian: Imprint

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acknowledgments, alveolation, alveolus, aquatint, autolithograph, back, back matter, backlash, backwash, bastard title, bed, bibliography, billhead, blaze, blaze a trail, blemish, block, block print, blotch, book stamp, bookplate, boss, brand, bring out, broad arrow, bump, cachet, catch line, catchword, chalk, chalk up, check, check off, chromolithograph, cicatrize, clout, colophon, color print, concavity, confirm, contents, contents page, convexity, copperplate, copperplate print, copyright page, counterfoil, countermark, crayon engraving, cut, dactylogram, dactylograph, dapple, dash, dedication, deep-dye, define, delimit, demarcate, dent, depress, dimple, dint, discolor, docket, dot, embed, embossment, endleaf, endpaper, endsheet, engraft, engrave, engravement, engraving, entrench, errata, establish, etch, etching, excrescence, fingerprint, fix, fleck, flyleaf, folio, footmark, footprint, footstep, force, fore edge, foreword, fossil footprint, found, freckle, front matter, furrow, gash, get out, gouge, government mark, government stamp, graphotype, grave, ground, half-title page, hallmark, hatch, head, hectograph, honeycomb, ichnite, ichnolite, impact, implant, impress, impression, inculcate, indent, indentation, indention, indenture, index, infix, ingrain, inscribe, inscription, instill, introduction, issue, jam, label, leaf, letterhead, letterpress, line, linoleum-block print, lithograph, lodge, logo, logotype, lump, mackle, make a mark, makeup, mark, mark off, mark out, masthead, mezzotint, mimeograph, mottle, multigraph, negative, nick, notch, offcut, offprint, offset, overprint, pack, pad, page, paw print, pawmark, pencil, pepper, pimple, pit, plant, plate, pock, pockmark, point, preface, preliminaries, press in, price tag, prick, print, proof, prove, publish, pug, pugmark, pull, pull a proof, punch, punch in, punctuate, puncture, put out, put to bed, put to press, reaction, recess, recoil, recto, reflex, registered trademark, reissue, repercussion, reprint, response, reverso, riddle, root, rubber-block print, run, run off, running head, running title, scar, scarify, score, scotch, scratch, seal, seam, seat, set, set back, set in, setoff, settle, sigil, signature, signet, speck, speckle, splotch, spot, stain, stamp, step, stereotype, sticker, stigmatize, streak, striate, strike, stripe, stub, stud, subtitle, sunken part, table of contents, tag, tail, tally, tamp, tattoo, text, thumbmark, thumbprint, tick, tick off, ticket, title, title page, token, trace, trade name, trademark, trademark name, trim size, type page, underline, underscore, verso, vestige, vignette, wedge, wood engraving, woodblock, woodcut, woodprint, xylograph
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