A printed sheet to be examined and approved before it is
finally printed. The first proof is that which contains all the
workman's errors; when these are corrected the impression next taken is
called a clean proof and is submitted to the author; the final
impression, which is corrected by the reader ad unguem, is
termed the press proof.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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