[ bahy-buhl ]
See synonyms for Bible on
  1. the collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments.

  1. Often bi·ble . the sacred writings of any religion.

  2. bible, any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable: He regarded that particular bird book as the birdwatchers' bible.

Origin of Bible

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English bible, bibel, from Old French bible, from Medieval Latin biblia (feminine singular), from Greek, in tà biblía tà hagía (Septuagint) “the holy books,” plural of biblíon, byblíon “papyrus roll, strip of papyrus,” equivalent to býbl(os) “papyrus” (after Býblos, a Phoenician port where papyrus was prepared and exported) + -ion noun suffix

Other words from Bible

  • an·ti-Bi·ble, adjective
  • pro-Bi·ble, adjective

Words Nearby Bible Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Bible in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Bible


/ (ˈbaɪbəl) /

    • the Bible the sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments and, in the Roman Catholic Church, the Apocrypha

    • (as modifier): a Bible reading

  1. the English name for Tanach

  1. (often not capital) any book containing the sacred writings of a religion

  2. (usually not capital) a book regarded as authoritative: the angler's bible

Origin of Bible

C13: from Old French, from Medieval Latin biblia books, from Greek, plural of biblion book, diminutive of biblos papyrus, from Bublos Phoenician port from which Greece obtained Egyptian papyrus

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

Cultural definitions for Bible (1 of 2)


The book sacred to Christians (see also Christian), which they consider to be the inspired word of God. The Bible includes the Old Testament, which contains the sacred books of the Jews (see also Jews), and the New Testament, which begins with the birth of Jesus.

Thirty-nine books of the Old Testament are accepted as part of the Bible by Christians and Jews alike. Some Christians consider several books of the Old Testament, such as Judith, I and II Maccabees, and Ecclesiasticus, to be part of the Bible also, whereas other Christians, and Jews, call these the Old Testament Apocrypha. Christians are united in their acceptance of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament; Jews do not consider the writings of the New Testament inspired. The Bible is also called “the Book” (bible means “book”).

Notes for Bible

By extension, any book considered an infallible or very reliable guide to some activity may be called a “bible.”

The book sacred to Christians (see also Christian), containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains the writings sacred to the Jews (see also Jews).

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.