AskDefine | Define facsimile

Dictionary Definition



1 an exact copy or reproduction [syn: autotype]
2 duplicator that transmits the copy by wire or radio [syn: facsimile machine, fax] v : send something via a facsimile machine; "Can you fax me the report right away?" [syn: fax, telefax]

User Contributed Dictionary



From |fac simile, from fac, imperative of facere, + simile, neuter of similis.


  • fækˈsɪmɪli


  1. A copy or reproduction.
  2. A fax, a machine for making and sending copies of printed material and images via radio or telephone network.
  3. The image sent with the machine itself.


  1. To send via a facsimile machine; normally only spoken as “fax”.


Extensive Definition

A facsimile (From Latin fac simile, "make like") is a copy or reproduction of an old book, manuscript, map, art print or other item of historical value that is as true-to-the-original source as possible using, normally, some form of photographic technique. They differ from other forms of reproduction by attempting to replicate the source as accurately as possible in terms of scale, colour, condition, and other material qualities. For books and manuscripts, this also entails a complete copy of all pages; hence an incomplete copy is known as a "partial facsimile". Facsimiles are used, for example, by scholars to research a source that they do not have access to otherwise and by museums and archives for museum and media preservation. Many are sold commercially.

Facsimiles in the age of mechanical reproduction

Advances in the art of facsimile is closely related to advances in printmaking. Maps, for instance, were the focus of early explorations in making facsimiles, although these examples often lack the rigidity to the original source that is now expected. An early example being Abraham Ortelius's Peutinger map (1598).

Facsimiles and conservation

Important illuminated manuscripts like Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry are not only on display to the public as facsimiles, but now even scholars may only consult high-quality copies. However, unlike normal book reproduction processes, facsimiles remain truer to the original colours—which is especially important for illuminated manuscripts—as well as defects.
Facsimiles play an important role in the study of history, palaeography and other fields where ready-access to an otherwise unavailable original document is essential for close examination. The copy of Edgar Allan Poe's original manuscript for The Murders in the Rue Morgue allows a wider availability of such resources and for researchers to see corrections and changes in the writer's autograph hand in a quality that rivals the original.
Facsimiles are best suited to printed or hand-written documents, and not to items such as three dimensional objects or oil paintings with unique surface texture. Reproductions of those latter objects are often referred to as replicas.
facsimile in Czech: Faksimile
facsimile in Danish: Faksimile
facsimile in German: Faksimile
facsimile in Spanish: Facsímil
facsimile in Esperanto: Faksimilo
facsimile in Italian: Facsimile
facsimile in Luxembourgish: Faksimile
facsimile in Dutch: Facsimile
facsimile in Norwegian: Faksimile
facsimile in Norwegian Nynorsk: Faksimile
facsimile in Polish: Faksymile
facsimile in Russian: Факсимиле
facsimile in Finnish: Näköispainos

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Doppelganger, Photoradiogram, Telephoto, Wirephoto, actual thing, burlesque, carbon, carbon copy, clone, copy, counterpart, dead ringer, ditto, double, dummy, dupe, duplicate, duplication, equivalent, exact counterpart, homograph, homonym, homophone, idem, identical same, imitation, knockoff, mock-up, model, no other, none other, paraphrase, parody, quadruplicate, radiophotograph, reduplication, repetition, replica, replication, representation, reproduction, selfsame, spit and image, spitting image, synonym, telephotograph, the same, the same difference, travesty, triplicate, twin, version, very image, very same
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