Definition of Apocrypha in English:


plural noun

  • 1treated as singular or plural Biblical or related writings not forming part of the accepted canon of Scripture.

    1. 1.1 Writings or reports not considered genuine.
      • ‘The Book of Enoch influenced later Jewish apocrypha, and left marks in the New Testament and amongst the works of the early Fathers.’
      • ‘Both Jewish and Christian apocrypha helped shape the Christian imaginative repertoire throughout the Medieval period.’
      • ‘The essays that commanded my sustained attention ranged from one end of the century to the other, from the canon to the apocrypha and back.’
      • ‘Stories transmitted by contemporary media can also be understood in terms of canon and apocrypha.’
      • ‘Religion is founded upon the oral tradition, the passing down of myths and fact and apocrypha until they cohere into something with a central doctrine.’


Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apocrypha (scripta) ‘hidden (writings)’, from Greek apokruphos, from apokruptein ‘hide away’.