What is a Telefacsimile?

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

Telefacsimile is a term used interchangeably with “fax” or “fax machine.”

Use of the term “Telefacsimile” in the English language peaked in the 1970s and has seen a heavy decline since then, while the use of the term “fax” has remained consistent.


According to the Oxford Dictionaries, telefacsimile is defined as:


  • another term for fax
    Example sentences:
  • ‘If the telefacsimile machine malfunctions, the telefacsimile document shall be stamped as of the date actually received in the office.’
  • ‘Photocopies, including telefacsimiles, of this signed Power of Attorney shall be treated as original counterparts.’

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, telefacsimile is defined as:

facsimile:  a system of transmitting and reproducing graphic matter (such as printing or still pictures) by means of signals sent over telephone lines

but not as facsimile in the context of “an exact copy”


According to Thesaurus.com, the most common synonyms of “telefacsimile” are:

Etymology (origin)

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first use of “telefacsimile” was 1952.

A patent search shows a patent for a “telefacsimile scanner” filed in 1938 by an Arthur C Rustad, as well as a patent for “telefacsimile” filed by Austin G Cooley in April of 1945.

A search of Google Books shows the term “telefacsimile” being used in the context of a communication device in the General Statutes of North Carolina in 1944.