What Does Facsimile Mean?

A facsimile, more commonly referred to as a fax, is the transmission of a document or image from one place to another electronically. The document to be sent is scanned and sent over a telephone or Internet connection. A combined scanner and transmitter is usually known as a fax machine. Modern-day Internet connections have greatly reduced the use of fax machines.


A facsimile is also known as a telefax or telecopy.

Techopedia Explains Facsimile

A fax transmits data electronically over a network connection. Originally this network connection was an analog telephone line, but now the Internet is also being used for this purpose. A document to be sent is treated as an image, scanned and converted into bits and transmitted over the line by the facsimile machine. The facsimile machine on the receiving end takes the whole message in terms of bits and then converts it into image. This image is either displayed onscreen or printed for the user on receiving end to read. Facsimile technology is still in use, but has largely been replaced by email.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…