font

Definitions

General English

Electronics

  • A set of characters which have the same combination of factors such as typeface, style, and size. Fonts are usually stored either as bitmapped fonts, or as scalable fonts.

Media Studies

  • noun a typeface. Newspapers generally use a house font which forms part of their characteristic style and appearance.

Publishing

  • noun a set of characters in a typeface of all the same style, i.e. the same size, weight and orientation

Origin & History of “font”

English has two words font. The older, ‘basin for baptismal water’ (OE), comes from font-, the stem of Latin fons ‘spring, fountain’ (from which English also gets fountain). It may well have been introduced into the language via Old Irish fant or font (it was often spelled fant in Old English). Font ‘set of type’ (16th c.) (or fount, as it is often also spelled) was borrowed from French fonte, a derivative of fondre ‘melt’ (whence also English fondant, fondu, and foundry).
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