[ al-buh m ]
/ ˈæl bəm /


  1. a bound or loose-leaf book consisting of blank pages, pockets, envelopes, etc., for storing or displaying photographs, stamps, or the like, or for collecting autographs.
  2. a digital collection of photographs, stored on a computer or mobile device for viewing, displaying, or sharing.
  1. a record or set of records containing several musical selections, a complete play or opera, etc.: Her album of folk songs will be out next month.
  2. the package or container for such a record or records: The album has a pocket for each record.
  3. a collection of audio recordings released together as a collected work: The digital release of their debut album sold more copies than expected.
a printed book containing an anthology of writings, reproductions of photographs or artwork, musical compositions, etc.

Origin of album

1645–55; 1955–60 for def 2; < Latin: neuter singular of albus white, i.e., a blank (tablet) painted white for writing on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for album


/ (ˈælbəm) /


a book or binder consisting of blank pages, pockets, or envelopes for keeping photographs, stamps, autographs, drawings, poems, etc
one or more CDs, cassettes, or long-playing records released as a single item
a booklike holder containing sleeves for gramophone records
mainly British an anthology, usually large and illustrated

Word Origin for album

C17: from Latin: blank tablet, from albus white
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

Word Origin and History for album



1650s, from Latin album "white color, whiteness," neuter of albus "white" (see alb). In classical times "a blank tablet on which the Pontifex Maximus registered the principal events of the year; a list of names." Revived 16c. by German scholars whose custom was to keep an album amicorum of colleagues' signatures; meaning then expanded into "book to collect souvenirs." According to Johnson, "a book in which foreigners have long been accustomed to insert autographs of celebrated people." Photographic albums first recorded 1859. Meaning "long-playing gramophone record" is by 1951, because the sleeves they came in resembled large albums.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper