[ ih-klee-zee-as-teez ]
/ ɪˌkli ziˈæs tiz /


a book of the Bible. Abbreviation: Eccl., Eccles.

Origin of Ecclesiastes

< Late Latin < Greek ekklēsiastḗs assemblyman, preacher, equivalent to ekklēsí(a) ecclesia + -astēs, variant of -istēs -ist after a vowel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for eccles.



/ Bible /

abbreviation for



/ (ɪˌkliːzɪˈæstiːz) /


(functioning as singular) a book of the Old Testament, probably written about 250 bc

Word Origin for Ecclesiastes

via Late Latin, from Greek ekklēsiastēs member of the assembly; see ecclesia

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 eccles.



c.1300, name given to one of the Old Testament books, traditionally ascribed to Solomon, from Greek ekklesiastes (see ecclesiastic), to render Hebrew qoheleth "one who addresses an assembly," from qahal "assembly." The title is technically the designation of the speaker, but that word throughout is usually rendered into English as "The Preacher" (which Klein calls "erroneous").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for eccles.


[ (i-klee-zee-as-teez) ]

A book in the Old Testament containing the reflections of a philosopher known as “the Preacher.” “Vanity of vanity saith the Preacher, ... all is vanity,” where the word “vanity” indicates that striving is in vain, because death comes to all, and “there is no new thing under the sun.” He believes that our character and achievements do not affect our fate. “The race is not to the swift nor to the strong.” He concludes that one should enjoy the good things found in life until death brings oblivion. The argument and tone of this book are very unlike those of the other books of the Bible (see also Bible). (See nothing new under the sun, A time to be born and a time to die, and Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.)

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.