Origin of bibliomancy

First recorded in 1745–55; biblio- + -mancy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bibliomancy

Historical Examples of bibliomancy

  • Bibliomancy, divining by means of the Bible, survived to a comparatively recent period.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician

    William Henry Davenport Adams

British Dictionary definitions for bibliomancy


  1. prediction of the future by interpreting a passage chosen at random from a book, esp the Bible
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 bibliomancy

1753, "divination by opening a book (especially the Bible) at random," the first verse presenting itself being taken as a prognostication of future events, from biblio- + -mancy. In pagan times, Homer (sortes Homericae) and Virgil (sortes Virgilianae) were used.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper