Definition of tome in English:



  • A book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one.

    ‘a weighty tome’
    • ‘Why pay £20 to lug around a weighty tome when you can copy the bits you need for free?’
    • ‘You had to scan the microfiche or even thumb through dusty tomes at the local library or tax assessor's office.’
    • ‘He struggled under the weight of the heavy tomes, his twiggy arms flailing pitifully.’
    • ‘Heavy tomes covered much of the walls but he only ran a hand over a few of the calfskin covers.’
    • ‘I doubt if he's read a book since he left Oxford, other than legal tomes.’
    • ‘He was quite gracious and signed books leaving weird little messages in each of our tomes.’
    • ‘Perhaps now is the time for me to eat my words, as it seems that the latest tome is much darker than the previous books.’
    • ‘It looks, in short, like a general reader's fantasy of a scholarly tome.’
    • ‘In my wandering through second hand book stores, I have come across some unusual tomes.’
    • ‘It is a weighty tome which is stimulating and challenging to read but is, in the end, disappointing.’
    • ‘There are excellent tomes on Museums and on Museology, books on arts and crafts, on forests, natural history and so on.’
    • ‘These tomes are far too serious for his feeble intellect.’
    • ‘Most of its members were in the library, consulting tomes and magazines for the debate the next day.’
    • ‘At times he seems caught out like a student tied to an unworkable premise for the sake of writing a heavy tome.’
    • ‘If you believe a public library is a majestic bastion of encyclopedic tomes, then you have not been inside one for a very long time.’
    • ‘Bookcases filled with tomes of indecipherable writing lined the walls of the library.’
    • ‘It's much better than other reference tomes you might buy, and free.’
    • ‘As part of the American experiment, public libraries brought the wisdom of the ancient and modern tomes to the common man.’
    • ‘The bald title suggests a cookery book or perhaps one of those popular science tomes based on a wacky premise.’
    • ‘After flipping through the heavy pages of the tome for nearly half an hour, she had to admit defeat.’
    volume, book, work, opus, writing, publication, title
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Early 16th century (denoting one volume of a larger work): from French, via Latin from Greek tomos ‘section, roll of papyrus, volume’; related to temnein ‘to cut’.