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A pantograph for drawing
A pantograph mirror
An original-style diamond rail pantograph


From French pantographe, from panto- (from Ancient Greek παντός (pantós), genitive singular of πᾶν (pân, all)), and -graphe (from γράφειν (gráphein, to write))


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpantəɡɹɑːf/, /ˈpantəɡɹaf/


pantograph (plural pantographs)

  1. A mechanical linkage based on parallelograms causing two objects to move in parallel; notably as a drawing aid.
    A pantograph can be adjusted to make either scaled or exact copies.
  2. By extension, a structure of crosswise bars linked in such a way that it can extend and compress like an accordion, such as in a pantograph mirror or a scissor lift.
  3. A pattern printed on a document to reduce the ease of photocopying.
    I was impressed by the quality of the pantograph; I hadn't noticed it on the original, but the copies were covered in unpleasant lines.
  4. (rail transport) A similarly-formed conductive device, now usually Z-shaped, that collects electric current from overhead lines for trains and trams.

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Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
A modern Z-shaped rail pantograph

Further readingEdit


pantograph (third-person singular simple present pantographs, present participle pantographing, simple past and past participle pantographed)

  1. To engrave by means of a pantograph (parallel linkage) system.

Further readingEdit