Share this entry

Share this page

incunabulum

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

Definition of incunabulum in English:

noun (plural incunabula /-lə/)

An early printed book, especially one printed before 1501.
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.

Origin

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

Words that rhyme with incunabulum

pabulum

Definition of incunabulum in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…