AskDefine | Define handwriting

Dictionary Definition



1 something written by hand; "she recognized his handwriting"; "his hand was illegible" [syn: hand, script]
2 the activity of writing by hand; "handwriting can be slow and painful for one with arthritis"

User Contributed Dictionary



See hand and writing


  1. Writing done with the hand, rather than typed or word-processed.
  2. The characteristic writing of a particular person

Related terms


Writing done with the hand, rather than typed or word-processed
The characteristic writing of a particular person
  • Italian: calligrafia
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: ده‌سوخه‌ت

See also

Extensive Definition

''"Handwriting" redirects here. For scripts for writing down notes by hand, see "Cursive".
Penmanship or handwriting is the art of writing with the hand and a writing instrument. Styles of handwriting are also called hands or scripts.


Ancient Roman handwriting styles included Roman cursive, and the more calligraphic rustic capitals and square capitals, the latter of which forms the basis for modern capital letters and was used in stone inscriptions. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages, new scripts developed from the old Roman ones, such as uncial and later blackletter. The Carolingian period saw the development of Carolingian minuscule, the basis for modern lower case letters, and the era saw a vast improvement in the quality of penmanship.
Carolingian script was more easily readable and led to the creation of new manuscripts. The period is often described as a Carolingian Renaissance. The 15th century Renaissance saw a return to the square capitals of the classical period and the minuscule of the Carolingian period, from which modern Roman-based scripts developed.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in part because printing replaced most formal communications, handwriting became cramped, small, and difficult to read. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw another revival of clean formalized handwriting. In the early twenty-first century, with the increasing popularity of electronic communication, some note a decline in the quality of penmanship similar to that brought on by the advent of printing. In the present time, handwriting tends to be a mixture of cursive and printing; some consider this as evidence of the decline of handwriting.
handwriting in Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE): ܟܬܒܬܐ
handwriting in Czech: Psací písmo
handwriting in German: Schreibschrift
handwriting in French: Manuscriture
handwriting in Hebrew: כתב יד (כתב)
handwriting in Dutch: Handschrift (persoon)
handwriting in Japanese: 筆跡
handwriting in Russian: Почерк
handwriting in Finnish: Käsiala
handwriting in Swedish: Handstil

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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