\ ˈtōm \

Definition of tome

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : book especially : a large or scholarly book
2 : a volume forming part of a larger work

Definition of -tome (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : part : segment myotome
2 : cutting instrument microtome

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Synonyms for tome

Synonyms: Noun

book, volume

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Did You Know?

Tome comes from Latin tomus, which comes from Greek tomos, meaning "section" or "roll of papyrus." Tomos comes from the Greek verb temnein, which means "to cut." In ancient times, some of the longest scrolls of papyrus occasionally were divided into sections. When it was first used in English in the 16th century, tome was a book that was a part of a multi-volume work. Now a tome is most often simply a large and often ponderous book.

Examples of tome in a Sentence


a long tome on European history picked up a thick tome on the Roman Empire at a used book store

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The arrival of a new Star Wars book is hardly news, but The Star Wars Archives — a new, massive tome from art book publisher Taschen — is nonetheless worth picking up. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The Star Wars Archives is a monster behind-the-scenes book," 15 Dec. 2018 Now, the model, designer, and perpetual paragon of Parisian elegance brings them into her home and the interior spaces of other creative Parisians with her latest tome, Maison: Parisian Chic at Home (Flammarion, 2018). Lindsey Tramuta, Condé Nast Traveler, "Ines de la Fressange and Marin Montagut on How to Achieve 'Parisian Chic'," 1 Oct. 2018 This hefty tome provides a life-size guide to 600 species of snake from around the world. Claire Cock-starkey, WSJ, "What to Give: Reference Books," 15 Nov. 2018 The coffee table tome is a celebration of the company’s 15 years and a collection of their favorite places yet. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "These Are the World’s Sexiest Bedrooms, According to Two Globe-Trotters Who Would Know," 14 Nov. 2018 The sumo-sized tome is the first collection of representative Tibetan art blessed by the Dalai Lama, who signed all 998 copies of the 500-page limited-edition book. Liesl Bradner,, "The murals of Tibet, with an assist from the Dalai Lama," 26 Apr. 2018 The tomes are often outdated, tattered and missing pages. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "Fed up with school spending cuts, Oklahoma teachers walk out," 2 Apr. 2018 This tome presents his previously unpublished writing — and gives a more personal portrait of the man himself. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 27 Mar. 2018 The book about Apple, not the Isaacson book but sort of the main tome before it. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Corey Pein, author of ‘Live Work Work Work Die,’ on Recode Decode," 13 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of tome


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tome


Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin tomus, from Greek tomos section, roll of papyrus, tome, from temnein to cut; akin to Middle Irish tamnaid he lops, Polish ciąć to cut, and perhaps to Latin tondēre to shear

Noun combining form

Greek tomos

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Statistics for tome

Last Updated

2 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tome

The first known use of tome was in 1519

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More Definitions for tome



English Language Learners Definition of tome

formal : a very large, thick book


\ ˈtōm \

Kids Definition of tome

: a big thick book

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More from Merriam-Webster on tome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tome

Spanish Central: Translation of tome

Nglish: Translation of tome for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tome

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


to deny responsibility for

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