Definition of sibyl in English:

sibyl

noun

  • 1A woman in ancient times supposed to utter the oracles and prophecies of a god.

    • ‘They inquire of ancient apocalyptic books and oracles, of sibyls and divines, who remembered the future and predicted it in the past: an exercise in retroactive foresight.’
    • ‘Carstens's Necessity is generally reminiscent of Michelangelo's sibyls, more specifically perhaps of the elderly Persica.’
    • ‘These centrally located narratives are surrounded by alternating images of prophets and sibyls on marble thrones, by other Old Testament subjects and by the ancestors of Christ.’
    • ‘I have a chapter on Shakespeare and Macbeth; there's the chapter about Ancient Greece, a chapter about Delphi and sibyls in Grecian-Roman times.’
    • ‘The three sibyls of the title reminded James that they had once prophesied endless dominion to Banquo's descendants, and saluted him in turn with the words ‘Hail, thou who rulest Scotland!’’
    • ‘The outlaws, aided by an old sibyl, defeat the castle's forces, and it burns to the ground.’
    • ‘Droitture explains that her first stones are the sibyls and female prophets; as exemplars of prudent wisdom and fore - sight, they demonstrate that God has entrusted his secrets to faithful and devoted women.’
    • ‘As they were thought to have made prophecies in pagan times, the classic sibyls are shown just above and below the central panels.’
    • ‘The opposite of an oracle in many ways is a sibyl.’
    • ‘She is a story teller and through telling stories discovers new meanings, like the ancient forerunners of her profession - the pythonesses, abbesses and sibyls who ‘revealed mysteries’.’
    • ‘In 1512-13 Raphael painted above the entrance arch of the Chigi chapel in S. Maria del Popolo a fresco with sibyls and prophets.’
    • ‘Looking on are the prophets and sibyls, the mysterious seers of man's tragedy.’
    1. 1.1literary A woman able to foretell the future.

Origin

From Old French Sibile or medieval Latin Sibilla, via Latin from Greek Sibulla.

Pronunciation:

sibyl

/ˈsib(ə)l/