1550s, "to write on or in" (something durable and conspicuous), from Latin inscribere "to write on or in (something)," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). Meaning "to dedicate (by means of an inscription)" is from 1640s. Form inscriven is from late 14c. Related: Inscribed; inscribing.
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