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sten·cil / ˈstensəl/ • n. a thin sheet of cardboard, plastic, or metal with a pattern or letters cut out of it, used to produce the cut design on the surface below by the application of ink or paint through the holes. ∎  a design produced by such a sheet: a floral stencil around the top of the room. • v. (-ciled , -cil·ing ; Brit. -cilled, -cil·ling) [tr.] decorate (a surface) with such a design: the walls had been stenciled with designs| [as n.] (stenciling) the art of stenciling. ∎  produce (a design) with a stencil: stencil a border around the door | [as adj.] (stenciled) the stenciled letters.

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stencilhassle, Kassel, passel, tassel, vassal •axel, axle •cancel, hansel, Hänsel, Mansell •transaxle •castle, metatarsal, parcel, tarsal •chancel • sandcastle • Newcastle •Bessel, nestle, pestle, redressal, trestle, vessel, wrestle •Edsel • Texel •intercensal, pencil, stencil •pretzel • staysail • mainsail • Wiesel •abyssal, bristle, epistle, gristle, missal, scissel, thistle, whistle •pixel • plimsoll •tinsel, windsail •schnitzel, spritsail •Birtwistle •paradisal, sisal, trysail •apostle, colossal, dossal, fossil, glossal, jostle, throstle •consul, proconsul, tonsil •dorsal, morsel •council, counsel, groundsel •Mosul • fo'c's'le, forecastle •bustle, hustle, muscle, mussel, Russell, rustle, tussle •gunsel • corpuscle •disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, reversal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal, universal •Herzl

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1. Thin sheet of metal, card, etc., in which holes have been cut, of such shape as when a paint-brush is applied, patterns are created on the wall behind.

2. Pattern produced by stencilling, often found in Gothic Revival interiors.

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stencil †ornament with bright colours XIV; (from the sb.) produce with a stencil plate XVIII. ME. stansel, stencel — OF. estanceler, estenceler, f. estencele (mod. étincelle) :- Rom. *stincilla, for L. scintilla spark.
Hence stencil sb. perforated plate for producing a pattern. XVIII.