Definition of tome in English:



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

    ‘a weighty tome’
    • ‘These tomes are far too serious for his feeble intellect.’
    • ‘It looks, in short, like a general reader's fantasy of a scholarly tome.’
    • ‘It is a weighty tome which is stimulating and challenging to read but is, in the end, disappointing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You had to scan the microfiche or even thumb through dusty tomes at the local library or tax assessor's office.’
    • ‘At times he seems caught out like a student tied to an unworkable premise for the sake of writing a heavy tome.’
    • ‘He struggled under the weight of the heavy tomes, his twiggy arms flailing pitifully.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of its members were in the library, consulting tomes and magazines for the debate the next day.’
    • ‘Heavy tomes covered much of the walls but he only ran a hand over a few of the calfskin covers.’
    • ‘In my wandering through second hand book stores, I have come across some unusual tomes.’
    • ‘It's much better than other reference tomes you might buy, and free.’
    • ‘Why pay £20 to lug around a weighty tome when you can copy the bits you need for free?’
    • ‘There are excellent tomes on Museums and on Museology, books on arts and crafts, on forests, natural history and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As part of the American experiment, public libraries brought the wisdom of the ancient and modern tomes to the common man.’
    • ‘Bookcases filled with tomes of indecipherable writing lined the walls of the library.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’.