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postage stamp

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Definition: postage stamp from

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

noun: a small printed gummed label stuck on a letter, etc indicating that the appropriate postage charge has been paid. Often shortened to stamp.

Summary Article: postage stamp from The Columbia Encyclopedia
postage stamp, government stamp affixed to mail to indicate payment of postage. The term includes stamps printed or embossed on postcards and envelopes as well as the adhesive labels. The use of adhesive postage stamps was advocated by Sir Rowland Hill; it was adopted in Great Britain in 1839. Zürich (Switzerland) and Brazil issued stamps in 1843, and by 1850 the custom had spread throughout the world. Although the postmasters of several cities had previously issued provisional stamps, the first U.S. official issue was in 1847. Stamps are usually printed from engraved steel plates or cylinders, or by typographic or lithographic means. Besides regular stamps, which date from 1847, the U.S. government also issues commemorative stamps, which celebrate events or persons; memorial stamps in honor of officials who die in office; airmail stamps; and special stamps, e.g., special delivery, postage due, and revenue stamps. Self-adhesive...    Continue Reading
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