Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


1. 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.
2. The lettering or design produced with such a sheet.
3. The process of printing with such a sheet.
tr.v. sten·ciled, sten·cil·ing, sten·cils or sten·cilled or sten·cil·ling
1. To mark with a stencil.
2. To produce by stencil.

[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.]

sten′cil·er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈstɛnsəld) or


(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) marked with a stencil
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
The clearness of it reminded him of her face, of her cleanly stencilled brows, her straightly chiselled nose, the very clearness of the gaze of her eyes, the firmly yet delicately moulded lips, and the throat, neither fragile nor robust, but--but just right, he concluded, an adequate and beautiful pillar for so shapely a burden.
Nothing could destroy its exquisite oval, its well-nigh classic lines, its delicately stencilled brows, its large brown eyes, clear-seeing and calm, gloriously calm.
His eye was caught by a building of pale-blue tin, stencilled "Calvinist Chapel," before whose shuttered windows an Italian organ-grinder .with a petticoated monkey was playing "Dolly Grey-"
The Emperor of Japan, on a steady old white horse stencilled with black spots, was twirling five wash-hand basins at once, as it is the favourite recreation of that monarch to do.
My room was at the top of the house, at the back: a close chamber; stencilled all over with an ornament which my young imagination represented as a blue muffin; and very scantily furnished.
Slowly work your way around the rug until the entire surface has been stencilled. Or just stencil a border.
Rachel's striking colour scheme and stencilled walls also add to the uniqueness of her home and compliment her nostalgic style.
'The young fans love having their favourite players' names or the club badge stencilled on their cheeks.
The stencilled graffiti we see on streets makes a new use of an old technology whose recent origins are traced to the work of Parisian stencil artists of the 1980s, but which also references the political graffiti of Latin America, the packaging and public signage of some Asian countries, and the screen prints of pop art.
All this plus a best selling book (The Stencilled Home) and a newly released video of the same name, not to mention interviews, teaching, features galore and of course their day job.