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sibyl

play
noun, often capitalized sib·yl \ˈsi-bəl\

Definition of sibyl

  1. 1 :  any of several prophetesses usually accepted as 10 in number and credited to widely separate parts of the ancient world (as Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, and Italy)

  2. 2a :  prophetessb :  fortune-teller

sibylic

or

sibyllic

play \sə-ˈbi-lik\ adjective

sibylline

play \ˈsi-bə-ˌlīn, -ˌlēn\ adjective


Did You Know?

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


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