Pen·ta·teuch | \ ˈpen-tə-ˌtük , -ˌtyük \

Definition of Pentateuch 

: the first five books of Jewish and Christian Scriptures

Did You Know?

Pentateuch means simply "five books". In Greek, the Pentateuch (which Jews call the Torah) includes the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These contain some of the oldest and most famous stories in the Bible, including those of Adam and Eve, Jacob and his brothers, and Moses, as well as some of the oldest codes of law known, including the Ten Commandments.

First Known Use of Pentateuch

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Pentateuch

Middle English Penteteuke, from Late Latin Pentateuchus, from Greek Pentateuchos, from penta- + teuchos tool, vessel, book, from teuchein to make — more at doughty

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Pentateuch

Share Pentateuch

Statistics for Pentateuch

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Pentateuch

The first known use of Pentateuch was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on Pentateuch

See words that rhyme with Pentateuch

Comments on Pentateuch

What made you want to look up Pentateuch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!