scriv·​en·​er | \ ˈskriv-nər How to pronounce scrivener (audio) , ˈskri-və- \

Definition of scrivener

1 : a professional or public copyist or writer : scribe

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for scrivener



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of scrivener in a Sentence

the roomful of unsung scriveners that it takes to churn out a weekly sitcom the details of the contract were worked out by a lawyer, I being involved with it merely as a scrivener
Recent Examples on the Web Her narrator’s final gesture, transforming herself into a piece of half-living art, echoes the odd and combative passivity of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, a scrivener who suddenly, inexplicably, refuses to perform his duties. Alexandra Kleeman, Vanities, "This Novel Provides an Empowering, Grotesque Alternative to Leaning In," 2 July 2018 But the scrivener simply repeated the same five words, with no explanation for his conduct. The Economist, "Introducing Bartleby, our new column on management and work," 26 May 2018 In the short story by Herman Melville from which our new column takes its name, Bartleby was a scrivener—a dying art, nowadays. The Economist, "Introducing Bartleby, our new column on management and work," 26 May 2018 In 1727, when Benjamin Franklin was twenty-one, he and a few friends—among them a scrivener, a joiner, and two cobblers—formed a conversation club called the Junto. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Benjamin Franklin Invented the Chat Room," 1 Dec. 2014 Almost always, Shakespeare’s plays become mirrors when held up to the moments in which they are produced; Ralph Crane the scrivener was only the first among many annotators. Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker, "Gender-Bending Shakespeare and Rough Magic in “The Tempest”," 15 Feb. 2017 The difference between a merchant’s handwriting and a scrivener’s is clear enough, the one scrawled and bold, the other neat and careful. Tim Parks, New York Times, "One of Florence’s Oldest Families and Its 600-Year Archive," 11 May 2016 Sporting an all-black outfit, the former scrivener for the Dead was the crowd favorite. Y. Peter Kang, WIRED, "Just Like Old Times in Berkeley," 11 July 2000

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scrivener.' 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 scrivener

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scrivener

Middle English scriveiner, alteration of scrivein, from Anglo-French escrivein, from Vulgar Latin *scriban-, scriba, alteration of Latin scriba scribe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scrivener

Time Traveler for scrivener

Time Traveler

The first known use of scrivener was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for scrivener

Cite this Entry

“Scrivener.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scrivener


scriv·​en·​er | \ ˈskri-və-nər How to pronounce scrivener (audio) \

Legal Definition of scrivener

: a professional or public copyist or writer of official or formal documents (as deeds or contracts)

History and Etymology for scrivener

Middle English, alteration of scriveyn, from Anglo-French escrivein, ultimately from Latin scriba public record keeper, from scribere to write

More from Merriam-Webster on scrivener

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrivener

Comments on scrivener

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!