Dictionary

library

noun li·brary \ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē, -ˌbre-rē; British usually & US sometimes -brər-ē; US sometimes -brē, ÷-ˌber-ē, -ˌbe-rē\

: a place where books, magazines, and other materials (such as videos and musical recordings) are available for people to use or borrow

: a room in a person's house where books are kept

: a collection of similar things (such as books or recordings)

plural li·brar·ies

Full Definition of LIBRARY

1
a :  a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale
b :  a collection of such materials
2
a :  a collection resembling or suggesting a library
b :  morgue 2
3
a :  a series of related books issued by a publisher
b :  a collection of publications on the same subject
4
:  a collection of cloned DNA fragments that are maintained in a suitable cellular environment and that usually represent the genetic material of a particular organism or tissue

Usage Discussion of LIBRARY

While the pronunciation \ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē\ is the most frequent variant in the United States, the other variants are not uncommon. The contraction \ˈlī-brē\ and the dissimilated form \ˈlī-ˌber-ē\ result from the relative difficulty of repeating \r\ in the same syllable or successive syllables; our files contain citations for these variants from educated speakers, including college presidents and professors, as well as with somewhat greater frequency from less educated speakers.
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Examples of LIBRARY

  1. I borrowed the book from the school library.
  2. He has an impressive library of jazz records.
  3. a library of computer programs

Origin of LIBRARY

Middle English, from Anglo-French librarie, Medieval Latin librarium, from Latin, neuter of librarius of books, from libr-, liber inner bark, rind, book
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to LIBRARY

LIBRARIES Defined for Kids

library

noun li·brary \ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē\
plural li·brar·ies

Definition of LIBRARY for Kids

1
:  a place where literary or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but are not for sale
2
:  a collection of literary or reference materials <They have a large personal library.>
Medical Dictionary

library

noun li·brary \ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē\
plural li·brar·ies

Medical Definition of LIBRARY

:  a collection of cloned DNA fragments that are maintained in a suitable cellular environment and that represent the genetic material of a particular organism or tissue <inserting segments from a library of human DNA into yeast cells—Science News>
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