library

noun li·brary \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē , -ˌbre-rē ; British usually and US sometimes -brər-ē ; US sometimes -brē , nonstandard -ˌber-ē , nonstandard -ˌbe-rē \

Definition of library

plural libraries
1 a :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
2 a :a collection resembling or suggesting a library
  • an illustrations library
b :morgue 2
3 a :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

How do you pronounce library?

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

  1. I borrowed the book from the school library.

  2. He has an impressive library of jazz records.

  3. a library of computer programs

Recent Examples of library from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of library

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

library Synonyms



LIBRARY Defined for English Language Learners

library

noun

Definition of library for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

library

noun li·brary \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē \

Definition of library for Students

plural libraries
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.

Medical Dictionary

library

noun li·brary \ ˈlī-ˌbrer-ē \

medical Definition of library

plural libraries
: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 cells
  • Science News


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