A decal (, , or ) or transfer is a plastic, cloth, paper or ceramic substrate that has printed on it a pattern or image that can be moved to another surface upon contact, usually with the aid of heat or water.
The word is short for decalcomania, which is the English version of the French word décalcomanie.
The technique was invented by Simon François Ravenet, an engraver from France who later moved to England and perfected the process he called "décalquer" (which means to copy by tracing); it became widespread during the decal craze of the late 19th century.
Decal may refer to:
Decal, a sticker
- Ceramic decal
- Guitar decal
- Water slide decal
- Decalitre (decaL), a unit of volume in the metric system
- DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal), a student group at the University of California at Berkeley
- Decal texture, a texture/image overlaid on top of other textures in computer graphics
- Decal (software), plugin architecture for the Asheron's Call computer game
- Lick My Decals Off, Baby, the Captain Beefheart music album
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
by 1909, shortening of decalcomania, from French décalcomanie, from décalquer (18c.) "transferring of a tracing from specially prepared paper to glass, porcelain, etc." (in vogue in France 1840s, England 1862-64), from de- "off" + calquer "to press," from Italian calcare, from Latin calcare "to tread on, press."\n\nTime was when there were only printers employed in making the sheets that were stuck on the ware, giving the old-time term of "plain print." This form of decoration was succeeded a few years ago by the decalcomania or "decal." This "decal" is an imported sheet, lithographed, and the little sprigs, flowers and scenes are cut out and stuck on the ware.
["Brick, the Leading Clay Journal," April 1909]
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. 1 A design or picture produced in order to be transferred to another surface either permanently or temporarily. 2 (context US English) A decorative sticker.
Usage examples of "decal".
He was holding his helmet in his hands, rubbing his fingers along the panther decal affixed to the side.
What made him sure this was the car we were looking for was the decal of a two-headed lion on the rear bumper.
I studied the decal and I was sure it was the same thing I had seen in Oakland.
Stuck in the right rear window was a parking lot decal like thousands of others.
The remains of Jimmy de Soto are on a sealed disc with red DATA CONTAMINANT decals somewhere in a basement at Envoy Corps HQ.
Dig a little bit deeper and it turns out the reasons-of-conscience decals are fake.
She took it in both hands and examined the decals with professional interest.
Prince, pointing to a team warming up on a perfect green field, with big blue star decals on their helmets.
The number decals on their scarred helmets rarely matched the numbers on their jerseys.
The seaside house is decorated with telco decals, chunks of driftwood, and the basic bric-a-brac of a hippie crash-pad.
Finally the biomembrane, its sponsor decals gleaming, disappeared into the opening, followed first by Pitkin and then, as the music reached a despondent coda, by the laureates in single file, their lighted torches casting shadow-tremors on the walls.
The window panes were covered with decals of garish reds, blues and greens, separated by black squiggly lines, meant to evoke the stained-glass grandeur of the medieval cathedrals of Europe.
What he could see, clearly, were a half-dozen large bright sponsor decals and stickers on both sides of the biomembrane and even on the blunt front end.
Mute stripped off his Levi jacket, exposing another Angel decal on his leather jacket.
Sometimes she would think of the endless evenings before the gunshot from the garage and she would see Seth in his chair, the one with the horse-and-rider decals she and Herb had put on when they came to realize just how much the boy loved 'Wessurns'.