incunabula

[ in-kyoo-nab-yuh-luh, ing- ]
/ ˌɪn kyʊˈnæb yə lə, ˌɪŋ- /

plural noun, singular in·cu·nab·u·lum [in-kyoo-nab-yuh-luhm, ing-]. /ˌɪn kyʊˈnæb yə ləm, ˌɪŋ-/.

extant copies of books produced in the earliest stages (before 1501) of printing from movable type.
the earliest stages or first traces of anything.

QUIZZES

FOR LEXICAL ALIMENTATION, TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Nourish your vocabulary with a refresher on the words from the week of September 14–20, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “blatherskite” mean?

Origin of incunabula

First recorded in 1815–25; from Latin: “straps holding a baby in a cradle, earliest home, birthplace,” probably equivalent to unattested *incūnā(re) “to place in a cradle” (in- in-2 + unattested -cūnāre, verbal derivative of cūnae “cradle”) + -bula, plural of -bulum suffix of instrument; def. 1 as translation of German Wiegendrucke

OTHER WORDS FROM incunabula

in·cu·nab·u·lar, adjectivepost·in·cu·nab·u·la, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for incunabula

British Dictionary definitions for incunabula

incunabula
/ (ˌɪnkjʊˈnæbjʊlə) /

pl n singular -lum (-ləm)

any book printed before 1501
the infancy or earliest stages of something; beginnings

Derived forms of incunabula

incunabular, adjective

Word Origin for incunabula

C19: from Latin, originally: swaddling clothes, hence beginnings, from in- ² + cūnābula cradle
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