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[sib-uh l] /ˈsɪb əl/
any of certain women of antiquity reputed to possess powers of prophecy or divination.
a female prophet or witch.
Origin of sibyl
1250-1300; < Greek Síbylla Sibylla; replacing Middle English Sibil < Medieval Latin Sibilla < Greek, as above
seer, prophetess, oracle, soothsayer.


or Sibylle

[sib-uh l] /ˈsɪb əl/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sibyl
Historical Examples
  • Her girlhood had in it a certain dignity as of a virgin priestess or sibyl.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • I'm afraid the sibyl is the only person capable of interpreting these.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • The sibyl picked them up and wrote with an eagle's quill on each.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • The sibyl placed them in rows on the ledges of rock inside the cavern.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • With a guard on either side the sibyl was shown into the presence of the king.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • The sibyl only smiled and threw three of the books into the open fire.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • She sat like a sibyl, elbows on knees, chin in hands, her gaze narrowed and fixed.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • When sibyl and her mother reached home, they found Mammy already at work.

    Plantation Sketches Margaret Devereux
  • After the disposal of the books, the sibyl vanished, and was seen no more.

  • He has the inspiration and the science of the sibyl without her contortions.

    Confessions of a Book-Lover Maurice Francis Egan
British Dictionary definitions for sibyl


(in ancient Greece and Rome) any of a number of women believed to be oracles or prophetesses, one of the most famous being the sibyl of Cumae, who guided Aeneas through the underworld
a witch, fortune-teller, or sorceress
Derived Forms
sibylline (ˈsɪbɪˌlaɪn; sɪˈbɪlaɪn), sibyllic, sibylic (sɪˈbɪlɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C13: ultimately from Greek Sibulla, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sibyl

"woman supposed to possess powers of prophecy, female soothsayer," c.1200, from Old French sibile, from Latin Sibylla, from Greek Sibylla, name for any of several prophetesses consulted by ancient Greeks and Romans, of uncertain origin. Said to be from Doric Siobolla, from Attic Theoboule "divine wish."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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