Definition of syllabus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsiləbəs/

noun (plural syllabuses or syllabi /-ˌbī/)

1An outline of the subjects in a course of study or teaching: there isn’t time to cover the syllabus the history syllabus
More example sentences
  • Joining him on the Friday evening will be internationally-acclaimed Asian poet and artist Imtaz Dharker, whose poetry is now on the school syllabus for the national curriculum.
  • Educators also can view descriptions of university course syllabi in Mexico, to see how content area subjects are supposed to be taught in Mexican schools.
  • I don't think I have met a student who studied in detail the entire syllabus of a course at university.
curriculum, course (of study), program of study, course outline;
timetable, schedule, calendar
2(In the Roman Catholic Church) a summary of points decided by papal decree regarding heretical doctrines or practices.
Example sentences
  • Sent to bishops throughout the world, the syllabus warned loyal Catholics everywhere of the pernicious doctrines which the pope had identified and anathematized.
  • The Syllabus was divided into ten sections which condemned as false various statements about these topics.
  • The Syllabus does not explain why each particular proposition is wrong, but it cites earlier documents to which the reader can refer for the Pope's reasons for saying each proposition is false.


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'concise table of headings of a discourse'): modern Latin, originally a misreading of Latin sittybas, accusative plural of sittyba, from Greek sittuba 'title slip, label'.

  • An early syllabus was a ‘concise table of headings of a text’. From modern Latin, it was originally a misreading of Latin sittybas, from Greek sittuba ‘title slip, label’. Use of the word in educational contexts for a programme of study is recorded from the late 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: syl·la·bus

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