a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of printing.
a public clerk or writer, usually one having official status.
Also called sopher, sofer. Judaism. one of the group of Palestinian scholars and teachers of Jewish law and tradition, active from the 5th century b.c. to the 1st century a.d., who transcribed, edited, and interpreted the Bible.
a writer or author, especially a journalist.

verb (used without object), scribed, scrib·ing.

to act as a scribe; write.

verb (used with object), scribed, scrib·ing.

to write down.

Origin of scribe

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin scrība clerk, derivative of scrībere to write
Related formsscrib·al, adjectiveun·scrib·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scribal

Historical Examples of scribal

British Dictionary definitions for scribal



a person who copies documents, esp a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing
a clerk or public copyist
Old Testament a recognized scholar and teacher of the Jewish Law
Judaism a man qualified to write certain documents in accordance with religious requirements
an author or journalist: used humorously
another name for scriber


to score a line on (a surface) with a pointed instrument, as in metalworking
Derived Formsscribal, adjective

Word Origin for scribe

(in the senses: writer, etc) C14: from Latin scrība clerk, from scrībere to write; C17 (vb): perhaps from inscribe



Augustin Eugène (oɡystɛ̃ øʒɛn). 1791–1861, French author or coauthor of over 350 vaudevilles, comedies, and libretti for light opera
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 scribal



c.1200, "professional interpreter of the Jewish Law" (late 11c. as a surname), from Church Latin scriba "teacher of Jewish law," used in Vulgate to render Greek grammateus (corresponding to Hebrew sopher "writer, scholar"), special use of Latin scriba "keeper of accounts, secretary, writer," from past participle stem of scribere "to write;" see script (n.). Sense "one who writes, official or public writer" in English is from late 14c.



"to write," mid-15c., from Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper