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'.
Definition of incunabulum in:
- The US English dictionary