• synonyms


[pen-tuh-took, -tyook]
  1. the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
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Origin of Pentateuch

< Late Latin Pentateuchus < Late Greek pentáteuchos, equivalent to Greek penta- penta- + teûchos tool, vessel (Late Greek: scroll case book)
Related formsPen·ta·teuch·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pentateuchal

Historical Examples

  • The tribunal of the Synhedrion was filled with painful anxiety as to the rigid execution of pentateuchal ordinances.

    History of the Jews, Vol. V (of 6)

    Heinrich Graetz

  • That the Pentateuchal law is solely concerned with practical conduct, religious, ceremonial and moral, needs not saying.

  • Maimonides's ethics as well as his interpretation of the Pentateuchal laws is intellectualistic, as the foregoing account shows.

  • The belief underlies the Pentateuchal enactments regarding the holding of the soil, which is only to be temporary.

  • It is Mr. Gladstone, and not I, who will have it that the pentateuchal cosmogony is to be taken as science.

    Mr. Gladstone and Genesis

    Thomas Henry Huxley

British Dictionary definitions for pentateuchal


  1. the first five books of the Old Testament regarded as a unity
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Derived FormsPentateuchal, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Church Latin pentateuchus, from Greek penta- + teukhos tool (in Late Greek: scroll)
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 pentateuchal


first five books of the Bible, c.1400, from Late Latin pentateuchus (Tertullian, c.207), from Greek pentateukhos (c.160), originally an adjective (abstracted from phrase pentateukhos biblos), from pente "five" (see five) + teukhos "implement, vessel, gear" (in Late Greek "book," via notion of "case for scrolls"), literally "anything produced," related to teukhein "to make ready," from PIE *dheugh- "to produce something of utility" (see doughty).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper