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stereotype(stĕr`ĕətīp'), plate from which printing is done, made by casting metal in a mold, usually of paper pulp. The process was patented in 1725 by the Scottish inventor William Ged. Firmin Didot improved the process, named it, and extended its use. Cylinder presses, by which newspapers were traditionally printed, use curved stereotype plates that fit the cylinders. For other applications, stereotype has largely been replaced by electrotype.
stereotypea set of inaccurate, simplistic generalizations about a group of individuals which enables others to categorize members of this group and treat them routinely according to these expectations. Thus stereotypes of RACIAL, SOCIAL CLASS, and GENDER groups are commonly held and lead to the perception and treatment of individuals according to unjustified preconceptions. See also PREJUDICE.
a duplicate of a typeform (type and cuts) used in letterpress printing, consisting of a one-piece plate 2–25.1 mm thick. Stereotypes first appeared in the 18th century and are now widely used to print large numbers of copies. Stereotypes are classified according to the method used to produce them as cast (made of type metal), electrotyped, and molded. They can be made entirely of metal (type metal alone or type metal with a layer of a more durable metal deposited on the printing side) or of polymer (plastics or rubber), or they can be made of a combination of a metal and polymer (metal on the printing side and polymer on the reverse side). The shape of rigid stereotypes—those made of metal or of metal and a polymer—depends on the type of printing press used. Flat stereotypes are used with platen and cylinder presses. Curved stereotypes are used with rotary presses.