\ 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

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Synonyms for tome

Synonyms: Noun

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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 This tome looks back at how New York City reinvented itself after hitting its 1970s nadir when people and businesses were fleeing the city. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 3 July 2021 The 700-some-page tome is a bracing addition to an ongoing field of research and testimony on AIDS history, a corrective to previous accounts that have elevated some perspectives over others and latched onto only a handful of figures. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 24 June 2021 The tome will include character profiles, including for Johnny Rose (Eugene), Moira Rose (Catherine O'Hara), David Rose (Dan), and Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy). Nick Romano,, 25 May 2021 Last year Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers of the University of Michigan published a tome that tries to avoid representation biases. The Economist, 18 Mar. 2021 Writing about joy is challenging; falling back on cliche is a constant temptation that Abdurraqib avoids in this insightful tome. Toni Fitzgerald, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Its themes of rediscovering one's creative center and finding one's self-worth are timeless, while some of the blockages to those endeavors cataloged in the tome feel like a time capsule. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 May 2021 The 381-page tome covers every era of the park’s 49-year history, owner by owner, ride by ride, pulled from personal interviews with the officials who built and ran the park. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 11 May 2021 In this detailed tome from Thames & Hudson, the Australian design journalist and interiors stylist David Harrison explores the advent of bold color in product design beginning in the 1920s through the present day. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, 4 May 2021

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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Tom, Dick, and Harry



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Last Updated

8 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for tome



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

More from Merriam-Webster on tome

Nglish: Translation of tome for Spanish Speakers


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