ex libris


ex li·​bris eks-ˈlē-brəs How to pronounce ex libris (audio)
plural ex libris
: a book owner's identification label that is usually pasted to the inside front cover of a book : bookplate
On the inside of the covers appears that plate with the fat chicken wearing glasses, hatching a closed book. Yehiel explained to me that that was his father's ex librisMeir Shalev

Examples of ex libris in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The artist Robert Pruitt designed an ex libris bookplate for Jay-Z’s private library. WSJ, 13 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ex libris.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from the books; used before the owner's name on bookplates

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ex libris was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near ex libris

Cite this Entry

“Ex libris.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ex%20libris. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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