Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance 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. PRINTING United Alliance 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 PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Disposal
    The discharge, deposit, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any solid or hazardous waste into the air or discharging into any water or waterway.
  • Distillation
    To purify liquids through boiling; the volatilization of a liquid by heating in a retort or still and condensing the resultant vapor by cooling.
  • Distillation range
    A series of temperatures recorded while boiling a solvent sample.
  • Distort
    To twist out of a natural or regular shape.
  • Distortion copy
    Copy that is intentionally distorted to compensate for the effects of dimensional changes during subsequent processing, such as vacuum forming of a printed plastic sheet.
  • Distressing
    A mechanical or chemical process that is used to remove dye and abrade a garment giving it a worn splotchy look.
  • Dithering
    A graphic display or printing process that uses a combination of dots or textures to simulate an original image or output device with the purpose of creating the impression of a continuous-tone gray scale or color image.
  • D-max
     Highest level of density.
  • D-min
    Lowest level of density.
  • Doctor blade
    A knife edge steel or plastic blade used to apply or remove ink from the cliché on a pad printing press.
  • Doctoring
    To add an ingredient to an ink to obtain better printing results.
  • Doctoring edge (doctoring ring)
    The sharp edge of the ink cup on a closed ink system on a pad printing press.
  • Documentation
    The systematic, orderly, understandable descriptions and records of policies and procedures that affect product and service quality.
  • DODISS
    Acronym for US Department of Defense Index of Specifications and Standards.
  • Dome retainer
    An adhesive layer designed to hold metal domes in the key switch.
  • Dominant wavelength
    A colorimetric quantity used to designate hue, which is one of the three quantities used in the C.I.E. specification of color.
  • Dop
    Synonym for 2-Ethylhexyl Phthalate, a plasticizer used in some plastisol inks.
  • Dope
    Slang term for cellulose ester lacquer.
  • Doped lamp
    An ultraviolet lamp where the spectral output has been changed by the addition of a dopant, such as beryllium or iron.
  • Dose
    The amount of a substance that enters the body over a specified period of time.
  • Dose rate
    In ultraviolet curing, the energy absorbed by the ink or coating per unit mass per unit of time, expressed as megarads per second.
  • Dosing system
    The device that dispenses electrostatically charged flock; may be a sieve, rotating drum or rotating brush and hopper arrangement.
  • DOT
    Acronym for US Department of Transportation.
  • Dot area
    The percentage of the area that is occupied by the dots; the sum of halftone dots in relation to a given unit area such as twenty-five percent dot areas means 25% of the given area is covered by dots, with 75% representing the uncovered areas.
  • Dot etching
    A technique of altering dot size on halftone films to correct colors or adjust the hues of individual tonal areas.