Short for facsimile. The transmission of text or graphics over telephone lines in digitized form. Conventional fax machines scan an original document, transmit an image of the document as a bit map, and reproduce the received image on a printer. Resolution and encoding are standardized in the CCITT Groups 1–4 recommendations. Fax images can also be sent and received by microcomputers equipped with fax hardware and software. See also CCITT Groups 1–4.
(common name for facsimile transmission or telefax)
The transmission of images over a telecommunications link, usually the telephone network. When placed on a fax machine, the original image is scanned by a transmitting device and converted into coded signals, which travel via the telephone lines to the receiving fax machine, where an image is created that is a copy of the original. Photographs as well as printed text and drawings can be sent. The standard transmission takes place at 4,800 or 9,600 bits of information per second.
The world’s first fax machine, the pantélégraphe, was invented by Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli 1866, over a century before the first electronic model came on the market. Standing over 2 m/6.5 ft high, it transmitted by telegraph nearly 5,000 handwritten documents and drawings between Paris and Lyon in its first year.
(Informal) 1. A facsimile machine; a device for transmitting a copy of a document electronically.
(Informal) 2. A document transmitted by a facsimile machine.