Definition of incunable in English:



  • another term for incunabulum
    • ‘Incunabula or incunables are the very first examples of books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed with moveable type in Western Europe.’
    • ‘Altogether thirty separate titles of incunables are displayed here, of which 23 titles, in more than 25 volumes, are in Hebrew.’
    • ‘If there were any incunables in the University Library, which was dispersed in the 1550s, they are not among the books in the present-day Bodleian Library.’
    • ‘While this incunable may not be rare, the text certainly is.’
    • ‘A single image in black and white appears with the brief text concerning an overlooked incunable and its appropriate redating to make it congruent with that identification.’


Late 19th century: via French from Latin incunabula (see incunabulum).