About this term
Source: Oxford University Press
Type of intaglio print. The process involves scratching lines or tones into the surface of a bare metal plate with a sharp point or other abrasive tool. The term may also refer to the process or to the tool used. It differs from etching in that acid is not used to bite the design into the plate (hence no protective ground is necessary) and from engraving in that the incising point is not pushed through the surface but rather used as a drawing tool. Drypoint may be used alone or in combination with other intaglio techniques. It may also be employed to retouch or reinforce designs on etching plates that have been worn out or blurred by use. Its earliest use dates to the 15th century.
From Grove Art Online