Definition of sibyl
sibyllicplay \sə-ˈbi-lik\ adjective
sibyllineplay \ˈsi-bə-ˌlīn, -ˌlēn\ adjective
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Ancient writers refer to the existence of various women in such countries as Babylonia, Greece, Italy, and Egypt, through whom the gods regularly spoke. These sibyls were easy to confuse with the oracles, women who were likewise mouthpieces of the gods, at such sites as Apollo's temple at Delphi. The most famous sibyl was the Sibyl of Cumae in Italy, a withered crone who lived in a cave. Her prophecies were collected into twelve books, three of which survived to be consulted by the Romans in times of national emergencies. She is one of the five sibyls memorably depicted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Origin and Etymology of sibyl
Middle English sibile, sybylle, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French sibile, from Latin sibylla, from Greek
First Known Use: 14th century
Learn More about sibyl
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sibyl
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