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[tohm] /toʊm/
a book, especially a very heavy, large, or learned book.
a volume forming a part of a larger work.
Origin of tome
1510-20; < French < Latin tomus < Greek tómos slice, piece, roll of paper, book, akin to témnein to cut


a combining form with the meanings “cutting instrument” (microtome; osteotome), “segment, somite” (sclerotome), used in the formation of compound words.
Compare tomo-, -tomous, -tomy.
combining form representing Greek tomḗ a cutting; tómos a cut, slice; -tomon (neuter), -tomos (masculine) -cutting (adj.) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But presently he will chance upon some tome whose appeal is irresistible.

    The Book-Hunter at Home P. B. M. Allan
  • When the boys came in, the little girl said, shyly, "tome and tell me about the nets."

    A Sailor's Lass

    Emma Leslie
  • Hystoriale: But this tyme is so tore (inconvenient), and we no tome have .

    The Bruce John Barbour
  • Beausobre in his History of Manicheanism, tome 2, book 4, chap.

  • Here, as you see me now, in tropical but dripping diffidence, I am the author of that tome.

    Kilo Ellis Parker Butler
British Dictionary definitions for tome


a large weighty book
one of the several volumes of a work
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Latin tomus section of larger work, from Greek tomos a slice, from temnein to cut; related to Latin tondēre to shear


combining form
indicating an instrument for cutting: osteotome
Word Origin
from Greek tomē a cutting, tomos a slice, from temnein to cut
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 tome

1510s, from Middle French tome, from Latin tomus "section of a book, tome," from Greek tomos "volume, section of a book," originally "section, piece cut off," from temnein "to cut," from PIE *tom-/*tem- "to cut" (cf. second element in Latin aestimare "to value, appraise," Old Church Slavonic tina "to cleave, split," Middle Irish tamnaim "I cut off," Welsh tam "morsel"). Originally "a single volume of a multi-volume work;" sense of "a large book" is attested from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tome in Medicine

-tome suff.

  1. Part; area; segment: dermatome.

  2. Cutting instrument: microtome.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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