Definition of scribe in English:

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Pronunciation: /skrīb/


1 historical A person who copies out documents, especially one employed to do this before printing was invented.
Example sentences
  • Jean was an illuminator who established a thriving workshop in Bourges with the help of André Rousseau, a scribe, manuscript agent, and the librarian of the university.
  • The Psalter, datable to about 795, is known commonly as the Dagulf Psalter, for its chief scribe includes his name in one of the dedicatory poems, written in letters of gold.
  • Bishko used this discovery to draw important conclusions about the nature of the Historia Silense, but he dismissed the inaccuracy itself as merely the error of an ignorant scribe.
clerk, secretary, copyist, transcriber, amanuensis
historical penman, scrivener
1.1 informal, often humorous A writer, especially a journalist.
Example sentences
  • Burgess's first love was music and the Manchester-born scribe did not plan on becoming a writer but aspired instead to being a composer.
  • Like all sites conceived as digital brochures, it has far too much text which includes an overly lavish encomium by a Sunday newspaper scribe.
writer, author, penman;
journalist, reporter
informal hack, pencil pusher
2 (also Scribe) Judaism An ancient Jewish record-keeper or, later, a professional theologian and jurist.
3 another term for scriber.
Example sentences
  • A scribe is an easy way to fit material to irregular surfaces.
  • Consider using a scribe for cutting Plexiglas without breaking it.


[with object]
1chiefly literary Write: he scribed a note that he passed to Dan
More example sentences
  • Placing the bird on a perch that rested on the desk, Grace quickly scribed a short note; we shall arrive in Clew Bay tonight.
  • Opening the envelope, his eyes narrowed as he read the neatly scribed note included with the schedule.
  • Her vivid green eyes traveled back over the beautifully scribed lines of the communication.
2Mark with a scriber.
Example sentences
  • Small strange drawings were scribbled and scribed into the wet surfaces, simple childish cave illustration that seemed so alien to all that had preceded it.
  • The barrel has a series of circles scribed round it, spaced so that each aligns with one of the levers which, on the organ, will open a pallet to admit air to a pipe for a specific note.
  • The first shop she stopped at was one by the name of Pewter Haven (as it was plainly scribed into a wooden sign that swung from over the doorway).



Pronunciation: /ˈskrīb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Although there are useful discussions here about scribal culture, the printing trade, and political communication, there is nothing to which historians will be indebted.
  • The poems are written in Akkadian and Sumerian, the latter a mainly academic, scribal language, the former a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic.
  • The similarities may be due to scribal reference to the earlier confession or to Issobel herself echoing her previous account, which could have been well established and somewhat formulaic.


Middle English (sense 2 of the noun): from Latin scriba, from scribere 'write'. The verb was first used in the sense 'write down'; in sense 2 of the verb it is perhaps partly a shortening of describe.

Words that rhyme with scribe

ascribe, bribe, gybe, imbibe, jibe, proscribe, subscribe, transcribe, tribe, vibe

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scribe

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