Glossary Of Terms

The SGIA Glossary of Terms serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate, without it universal understanding would be impossible. Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. SGIA is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. The definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and SGIA assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • MIL SPEC
    Acceptable abbreviation for military specification.
  • Mill swatch
    Substrate sample book provided by a mill.
  • Milled flock
    Non-uniform flock fibers typically produced from cotton or synthetic textile waste materials; also refer to flock.
  • Milli (m)
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative 3 (10-3) or 0.001.
  • Millijoule
    A measure of light output equal to 1/1000 of a joule.
  • Milliliter (ml)
    A unit of capacity measurement in the metric system equal to 1/1000 of a liter, 1.0 cubic centimeters or 0.06102 cubic inches.
  • Millimeter (mm)
    A unit of length measurement in the metric system equal to 0.001 meters or 0.03937 inches.
  • Millimicron
    A standard measure for a light wave.
  • Millisecond
    One thousandth of a second.
  • Mineral oil
    A light hydrocarbon oil, a distillate of petroleum.
  • Mineral spirits
    An aliphatic solvent with a mild odor that is one of the most widely used solvent and thinning agents of any of the hydrocarbons.
  • Miniature
    A size class of electronic circuits below the usual size standards.
  • Minuscule
    A lower case letter.
  • Mirror
    (1) Function of reversing type or image in a design; (2) A software function that vertically or horizontally reverses on image.
  • Mirror resist
    A screen printing ink that can be printed on glass which is to be silvered to make mirrors, and which resists the silvering acids to form a clear pattern on the glass.
  • Mirrorized polyester
    Polyester sheet film that has been surfaced by metallizing with a highly reflective material resembling the surface of a conventional silvered glass mirror.
  • Miscible
    Ability to mix with another material.
  • Misprint
    A print that does not meet quality standards; also referred to as a reject.
  • Misregistration (out-of-register)
    An incorrectly positioned image during printing or finishing; or the failure to be properly aligned, one color imprint to another.
  • Mist
    (1) A watery vapor suspended in the atmosphere; (2) A watery vapor condensed on a surface.
  • MIT tester (Schopper tester)
    A durable testing instrument used by a mill to measure the folding endurance/resistance of a paper.
  • Mitography
    A comprehensive term coined by Albert Kosloff (deceased), meaning screen printing. (The word was taken from the Greek prefix mitos, meaning "threads of fibers" and the suffix graphein, meaning "to write or print").
  • Mixed life
    The length of time during which two or more components will not react unfavorably after intermixing.
  • Mixing white
    A white ink, either transparent or opaque, used in making tints.
  • Mixture
    A composition of two or more substances that are not chemically bonded to each other.