great books

adjective

: of, relating to, or centered in certain classics of literature, philosophy, history, and science that are believed to contain the basic ideas of western culture
an experimental great books program for 50 selected studentsTime

Word History

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of great books was in 1945

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near great books

Cite this Entry

“Great books.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/great%20books. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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