gazette

Definitions

Information & Library Science

Media Studies

  • noun an official publication in the UK in which government appointments, public notices etc. appear.
  • noun a newspaper, especially a local one or the official journal of an organisation or institution
  • verb to report or announce something in a gazette
  • abbreviationgaz.

Origin & History of “gazette”

If the Sun or the Mirror were called the 22p, they would be echoing the origins of the word gazette. In Renaissance Venice, a ‘newspaper’ was termed casually gazeta de la novita (gazeta for short), literally a ‘pennyworth of news’ – for a gazeta was the name of a small Venetian copper coin (probably a diminutive form of gazza ‘magpie’). Italian took the word over as gazzetta, and passed it on to English via French. The verbal use of gazette, ‘announce a military promotion officially’, arises from the practice of printing such announcements in the British government newspaper, the London Gazette (first published in the 17th century).

The derived gazeteer (17th c.), ultimately from Italian gazzettiere, originally meant ‘journalist’. Its current sense ‘index of places’ was inspired by Laurence Echard’s The Gazetteer’s; or a Newsman’s Interpreter: Being a Geographical Index 1693.
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