library

noun
li·​brary | \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē How to pronounce library (audio) , -ˌbre-rē; British usually and US sometimes -brə-rē; British often and US sometimes -brē, nonstandard -ˌber-ē, nonstandard -ˌbe-rē How to pronounce library (audio) \
plural libraries

Definition of library

1a : a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (such as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale
b : a collection of such materials a library of jazz recordings
2a : a collection resembling or suggesting a library an illustrations library
3a : a series of related books issued by a publisher a Dickens library
b : a collection of publications on the same subject
4 : a collection of cloned DNA fragments that are maintained in a suitable cellular environment and that usually represent the genetic material of a particular organism or tissue

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for library

Synonyms

archive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

How do you pronounce library?: Usage Guide

While the pronunciation \ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē\ is the most frequent variant in the U.S., the other variants are not uncommon. The contraction \ˈlī-brē\ and the dissimilated form \ˈlī-ˌber-ē\ result from the relative difficulty of repeating \r\ in the same syllable or successive syllables; our files contain citations for these variants from educated speakers, including college presidents and professors, as well as with somewhat greater frequency from less educated speakers.

Examples of library in a Sentence

I borrowed the book from the school library. He has an impressive library of jazz records. a library of computer programs
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The library is eliminating new fines on overdue material as of that date. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Westlake Porter Public Library is going fine-free: West Shore Chatter," 27 Aug. 2019 This year, the library has children's books, history, biography, war, hunting and outdoor books. courant.com, "Community News For The Stafford Edition," 26 Aug. 2019 The library is a place full of knowledge and people willing to help. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "5 Notre Dame football freshman who might break out in 2019," 24 Aug. 2019 Really, the game library is the highlight of the Genesis Mini. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The Sega Genesis Mini builds on what made Nintendo’s tiny consoles great," 14 Aug. 2019 The library is a 30 million-page archive of human history and civilization, stored on a nanoscale device akin to a DVD—except it's made of 25 layers of nickel disks just 40 microns thick. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and probably survived," 7 Aug. 2019 Best-case scenario is that the little library is fully intact, sitting on a nice sandy hillside on the moon for a billion years. Cnn, The Mercury News, "Are tardigrades alive on the moon after spacecraft’s crash landing?," 7 Aug. 2019 The library is at 1515 Young St. To learn more, call 214-670-1435. Dallas News, "Dallas' Knights of Pythias building and the story of its trailblazing builder are being saved," 6 Aug. 2019 The new library was to replace the then-existing one on La Cañada Boulevard that had to be removed to make way for the construction of the Foothill (210) Freeway. Carol Cormaci, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Local wins javelin throw at 2009 Summer National Senior Games," 29 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'library.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of library

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for library

Middle English, from Anglo-French librarie, Medieval Latin librarium, from Latin, neuter of librarius of books, from libr-, liber inner bark, rind, book

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about library

Statistics for library

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for library

The first known use of library was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for library

library

noun

English Language Learners Definition of library

: a place where books, magazines, and other materials (such as videos and musical recordings) are available for people to use or borrow
: a room in a person's house where books are kept
: a collection of similar things (such as books or recordings)

library

noun
li·​brary | \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē How to pronounce library (audio) \
plural libraries

Kids Definition of library

1 : a place where literary or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but are not for sale
2 : a collection of literary or reference materials They have a large personal library.

library

noun
li·​brary | \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē How to pronounce library (audio) \
plural libraries

Medical Definition of library

: a collection of cloned DNA fragments that are maintained in a suitable cellular environment and that represent the genetic material of a particular organism or tissue inserting segments from a library of human DNA into yeast cellsScience News

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on library

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

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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