Definition of scriptorium in US English:


nounPlural scriptoriums, Plural scriptoria

  • A room set apart for writing, especially one in a monastery where manuscripts were copied.

    • ‘By the 9th century, most monasteries had writing rooms or scriptoria.’
    • ‘The saga literature of Ireland which has survived from earliest times owes its preservation to the monastic scriptoria.’
    • ‘A limited form of mass production was able to be achieved in large scriptoria contained in monasteries.’
    • ‘After all, it was assumed that all monks could read and write. Monasteries also contained libraries and scriptoria, or writing rooms, in which manuscripts were copied.’
    • ‘We may have come a long way from monks writing in scriptoria.’


Late 18th century: from medieval Latin, from Latin script- ‘written’, from the verb scribere.