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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Composite \Com*pos"ite\ (?; 277), a. [L. compositus made up of parts, p. p. of componere. See Compound, v. t., and cf. Compost.]

  1. Made up of distinct parts or elements; compounded; as, a composite language.

    Happiness, like air and water . . . is composite.

  2. (Arch.) Belonging to a certain order which is composed of the Ionic order grafted upon the Corinthian. It is called also the Roman or the Italic order, and is one of the five orders recognized by the Italian writers of the sixteenth century. See Capital.

  3. (Bot.) Belonging to the order Composit[ae]; bearing involucrate heads of many small florets, as the daisy, thistle, and dandelion.

    Composite carriage, a railroad car having compartments of different classes. [Eng.]

    Composite number (Math.), one which can be divided exactly by a number exceeding unity, as 6 by 2 or 3..

    Composite photograph or Composite portrait, one made by a combination, or blending, of several distinct photographs.
    --F. Galton.

    Composite sailing (Naut.), a combination of parallel and great circle sailing.

    Composite ship, one with a wooden casing and iron frame.


Italic \I*tal"ic\, a. [L. Italicus: cf. F. italique. Cf. Italian.]

  1. Relating to Italy or to its people.

  2. Applied especially to a kind of type in which the letters do not stand upright, but slope toward the right; -- so called because dedicated to the States of Italy by the inventor, Aldus Manutius, about the year 1500.

    Italic languages, the group or family of languages of ancient Italy.

    Italic order (Arch.), the composite order. See Composite.

    Italic school, a term given to the Pythagorean and Eleatic philosophers, from the country where their doctrines were first promulgated.

    Italic version. See Itala.


Italic \I*tal"ic\, n.; pl. Italics. (Print.) An Italic letter, character, or type (see Italic, a., 2.); -- often in the plural; as, the Italics are the author's. Italic letters are used to distinguish words for emphasis, importance, antithesis, etc. Also, collectively, Italic letters.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s (adj.), 1670s (n.) "italic type," from Latin italicus "Italian" (see Italian); so called because it was introduced in 1501 by Aldus Manutius, printer of Venice (who also gave his name to Aldine), and first used in an edition of Virgil dedicated to Italy. Earlier (1570s) the word was used for the plain, sloping style of handwriting, as opposed to Gothic. Related: Italics.


a. 1 (context typography of a typeface or font English) Designed to resemble a handwriting style developed in Italy in the 16th century. 2 (context typography of a typeface or font English) Having letters that slant or lean to the right; oblique. alt. 1 (context typography of a typeface or font English) Designed to resemble a handwriting style developed in Italy in the 16th century. 2 (context typography of a typeface or font English) Having letters that slant or lean to the right; oblique. n. (context typography English) A typeface in which the letters slant to the right.

  1. adj. characterized by slanting characters; "italic characters"

  2. of or relating to the Italic languages; "ancient Italic dialects"

  1. n. a style of handwriting with the letters slanting to the right

  2. a branch of the Indo-European languages of which Latin is the chief representative [syn: Italic language]

  3. a typeface with letters slanting upward to the right


Italic may refer to:

  • Anything of or relating to Italy
    • Anything of, or relating to, the Italian Peninsula
      • Italic peoples, Italic-language speaking people of ancient Italy
      • Italic languages, an Indo-European language family
      • Old Italic alphabet, an alphabet of ancient Italy
  • In calligraphy and typography:
    • Italic script, a method of handwriting
    • Italic type, used in typography mainly for emphasis
  • In architecture
    • The Italic or Composite order

Usage examples of "italic".

Of Rome when it was a small village threatened by the other Italic tribes, the Sabines, Aequi, and Volsci?

But these letters, which were written in a minute Italic hand, in the blackest ink on Mr.

The early Italic Lucina was a goddess of light and therefore-because birth is the first time we see her-of labor and childbed as well.

On a coffee table, as in a dentist's office, were slick magazines, in casual disarray, with titles like Literature and Wit, The Poetic Athanor, The Rose and the Thorn, The Italic Parnassus, Free Verse.

It is difficult to decide the exact extent of his knowledge, but those familiar with his writings can scarcely fail to be satisfied that he had a sufficient acquaintance with the language to correct his Italic version by the Greek Testament and the LXX.

And this, of course, became the Germanic, Balto-Slavic, Indo-Iranian, Greek, Italic, Celtic, and a dozen other language families which were not recorded or even heard of by civilized peoples.

If you look at the computer code for a wordprocessor and a spread­sheet, you'll find they have an awful lot in common, routines for reading the keyboard, printing to the screen, searching for a given text string, changing fonts to italic, responding to a click on the mouse .