Definition of incunabulum in English:


Line breaks: in¦cu|nabu¦lum
Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkjʊˈnabjʊləm

noun (plural incunabula /-lə/)

  • An early printed book, especially one printed before 1501.
    More example sentences
    • Books printed before 1501 are called incunabula; the word is derived from Latin for swaddling clothes and used to indicate that these books are the work of a technology still in its infancy.
    • A preliminary exhibition of one hundred incunabula from the collection was held before World War II, in 1937, and another after it in 1957, as well as a preliminary exhibition of masterpieces from it in 1954.
    • A pair of small drawings by Burne-Jones in a sketchbook from about this time depicts similar vessels nestled in stylized seas, surrounded by frames such as those used in illustrated incunabula.


early 19th century: from Latin incunabula (neuter plural) 'swaddling clothes, cradle', from in- 'into' + cunae 'cradle'.

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a small amount; a little