/ pres /
printing press · public press · pressure · pressing · military press
(Irregular plural: presses).
1. Any machine that exerts pressure to form or shape or cut materials or extract liquids or compress solids.
2. A machine used for printing; SYN. printing press.
3. Clamp to prevent wooden rackets from warping when not in use.
4. Printed matter in the form of newspapers or magazines; SYN. public press.
5. The news media in general.
6. The act of pressing; SYN. pressure, pressing.
7. A weightlift in which the barbell is lifted to shoulder height and then smoothly lifted overhead; SYN. military press.
8. The news media, in particular newspapers, journals, and periodical literature generally. The term is used also to describe journalists and reporters.
/ prɪntər /
pressman · printing machine
A computer peripheral that puts text or a computer-generated image on paper or on another medium, such as a transparency film. Printers can be categorized in any of several ways: impact versus nonimpact; print technology; character formation; method of transmission; method of printing; print capability; and print quality.
Impact versus nonimpact The most common distinction is impact versus nonimpact. Impact printers physically strike the paper and are exemplified by pin dot-matrix printers and daisy-wheel printers; nonimpact printers include every other type of print mechanism, including laser, ink-jet, and thermal printers.
Print technology Chief among types of print technology are pin dot-matrix, ink-jet, laser, thermal, and (although somewhat outdated) daisy-wheel or thimble printers. Pin dot-matrix printers can be further classified by the number of pins in the print head: 9, 18, 24, and so on.
Character formation Fully formed characters made of continuous lines (such as those produced by a daisy-wheel printer) versus dot-matrix characters composed of patterns of dots (such as those produced by standard dot-matrix, ink-jet, and thermal printers). Laser printers, while technically dot-matrix are generally considered to produce fully formed characters because their output is very clear and the dots are extremely small and closely spaced.
Method of transmission Parallel (byte-by-byte transmission) versus serial (bit-by-bit transmission). These categories refer to the means by which output is sent to the printer rather than to any mechanical distinctions. Many printers are available in either parallel or serial versions, and still other printers offer both choices, yielding greater flexibility in installation options.
Method of printing Character by character, line by line, or page by page. Character printers include standard dot-matrix, ink-jet, thermal, and daisy-wheel printers. Line printers include the band, chain, and drum printers that are commonly associated with large computer installations or networks. Page printers include the electrophotographic printers, such as laser printers.
Print capability Text-only versus text-and-graphics. Text-only printers, including most daisy-wheel and thimble printers, and some dot-matrix and laser printers, can reproduce only characters for which they have matching patterns, such as embossed type or internal character maps. Text-and-graphics printers—dot matrix, ink-jet, laser, and others— can reproduce all manner of images by each as a pattern of dots.
Print quality Draft versus near-letter quality versus letter quality.
1. Someone whose occupation is printing; SYN. pressman.
2. A machine that prints; SYN. printing machine.
3. (Computer science) An output device that prints the results of data processing.
In computing, an output device for producing printed copies of text or graphics. Types include the daisywheel printer, which produces good-quality text but no graphics; the dot matrix printer, which produces text and graphics by printing a pattern of small dots; the ink-jet printer, which creates text and graphics by spraying a fine jet of quick-drying ink onto the paper; and the laser printer, which uses electrostatic technology very similar to that used by a photocopier to produce high-quality text and graphics.
Printers may be classified as impact printers (such as daisywheel and dot-matrix printers), which form characters by striking an inked ribbon against the paper, and nonimpact printers (such as ink-jet and laser printers), which use a variety of techniques to produce characters without physical impact on the paper.
A further classification is based on the basic unit of printing, and categorizes printers as character printers, line printers, or page printers, according to whether they print one character, one line, or a complete page at a time.