Definition of Bible in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbībəl/


(the Bible)
1The Christian scriptures, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
1.1 (the Bible) The Jewish scriptures, consisting of the Torah or Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa or Writings.
1.2 (also bible) A copy of the Christian or Jewish scriptures: clutching a large black Bible under his arm
More example sentences
  • A court usher held a copy of the bible to her right hand for the woman to take the oath.
  • You won't find the Apocrypha in most bibles, as for Christians of the Reformation it is not regarded as Scripture.
  • It shows an African man from the waist up, holding a bible, with his arms extended and raised.
1.3A particular edition or translation of the Bible: the New English Bible
1.4 (bible) informal Any authoritative book: “Larousse Gastronomique,” the bible of French cooking
More example sentences
  • This is the bible of pregnancy books, answering virtually every question you could ever think of. A great resource.
  • But I was also obsessed with the possibility of the future turning out to be horrible - so I carried around 1984, Farenheit 451 and Brave New World like they were my Bibles.
  • The Les Routiers guide - one of the few bibles of the catering and accommodation world - contains 600 entries, covering hotels, restaurants, inns, B and Bs and cafes.
handbook, manual, ABCs, companion, guide, primer, vade mecum
rare enchiridion
1.5The scriptures of any religion.
Example sentences
  • Altogether, nearly eleven million Bibles and Scripture portions were distributed in 40 languages to 126 countries.
  • We will import no missionaries, distribute no Bibles.
  • It's hopefully safe to assume that though the Bibles are new, they will not be ‘improved.’


Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin biblia, from Greek biblia 'books', from biblion 'book', originally a diminutive of biblos 'papyrus, scroll', of Semitic origin.

  • Bible has come via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin biblia, from Greek (ta) biblia ‘(the) books’. The singular biblion was originally a diminutive of biblos ‘papyrus, scroll’, of Semitic origin. There is a link with the Eastern Mediterranean port of Byblos, which was a major exporter of papyrus to Greece. Words like bibliography (early 19th century) come from the same source.

Words that rhyme with Bible

intertribal, libel, scribal, tribal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Bi·ble

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