Definition of scribe in English:

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Pronunciation: /skrʌɪb/


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, recorder, record keeper;
in Africa mallam
informal pen-pusher
North American informal pencil pusher
archaic penman, scrivener, writer
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
2 historical A Jewish recordkeeper or, later, a professional theologian and jurist.
3 (also scribe awl) A pointed instrument used for making marks on wood, bricks, etc., to guide a saw or in signwriting.
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 pointed instrument: mark the position of the lock body on the door edge, then scribe a centre mark
More example sentences
  • Photo 1 shows how to scribe a line with just a carpenter's pencil.
  • I'd prefer to avoid it but find I cannot, so must learn the black art of re-scribing panel lines…



Pronunciation: /ˈskrʌɪb(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 (in sense 2 of the noun): from Latin scriba, from scribere 'write'. The verb was first used in the sense 'write down'; in sense 2 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

Line breaks: scribe

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