\ ˈtōm How to pronounce tome (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for tome

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Noun 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 tome, which is packed with management lessons and riveting stories from the trenches of corporate America and hits shelves June 30, is likely to inspire a new generation of leaders in training. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "‘Winning Now, Winning Later’ author David Cote on his secret to corporate creativity," 30 June 2020 As the title suggests, this 203-page tome features 100 animals to color. Popular Science, "Four beautiful coloring books for relieving stress," 29 June 2020 They've been cut into baseball's ambitious, unprecedented and relatively tenuous plans to play a 2020 season, right there on Page 46 of a tome that seems to alternate between draconian and dystopian. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "As MLB makes plans for 2020 season, what about the mascots?," 27 June 2020 The tome, illustrated by Chris Riddell, is a playful romp about pirate Long John McRon, who entertains a pair of siblings with some very, well, pirate-y, friends. Seija Rankin,, "See first look at Neil Gaiman's next book, Pirate Stew," 9 June 2020 For the 32-year-old New York employment lawyer, reading the 1,247-page tome—with its scores of characters, monologues on freemasonry, extended descriptions of military tactics and long passages in French—finally didn’t feel like homework. Julia-ambra Verlaine, WSJ, "The Upside of Lockdowns: Finally Time to Read ‘War and Peace’," 17 June 2020 The gossipy tome opens with a delicious tease: a snapshot of the film’s fittingly disastrous premiere aboard the Princess Italia cruise ship, attended by Susann, the cast and filmmakers, and the international press. Mary Sollosi,, "Read an excerpt from Stephen Rebello's juicy Valley of the Dolls history Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!," 5 June 2020 Sure, the Rangers had been written about before, but no one had published a tome about the agency’s nearly 200 years, much less one that took a harrowing deep dive into the Rangers’ darkest moments. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "The Texas Rangers didn’t invent police brutality, says the author of a new book, ‘they perfected it’," 4 June 2020 The lobby will also be kitted out with a library of Ping-Pong books—ranging from English tomes to manga. Stephanie Wu, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Hotels Let You Work Out With Olympians," 20 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tome

Listen to Our Podcast about tome

Statistics for tome

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tome


How to pronounce -tome (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tome

formal : a very large, thick book


\ ˈtōm How to pronounce tome (audio) \

Kids Definition of tome

: a big thick book

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!