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See more synonyms for tome on Thesaurus.com
  1. a book, especially a very heavy, large, or learned book.
  2. a volume forming a part of a larger work.
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Origin of tome

1510–20; < French < Latin tomus < Greek tómos slice, piece, roll of paper, book, akin to témnein to cut


  1. a combining form with the meanings “cutting instrument” (microtome; osteotome), “segment, somite” (sclerotome), used in the formation of compound words.
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Compare tomo-, -tomous, -tomy.

Origin of -tome

combining form representing Greek tomḗ a cutting; tómos a cut, slice; -tomon (neuter), -tomos (masculine) -cutting (adj.)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tome

novel, publication, textbook, opus, classic, work, writing, volume, title, schoolbook

Examples from the Web for tome

Contemporary Examples of tome

Historical Examples of tome

  • But presently he will chance upon some tome whose appeal is irresistible.

  • When the boys came in, the little girl said, shyly, "Tome and tell me about the nets."

    A Sailor's Lass

    Emma Leslie

  • Hystoriale: But this tyme is so tore (inconvenient), and we no tome have .

    The Bruce

    John Barbour

  • Beausobre in his History of Manicheanism, tome 2, book 4, chap.

  • Here, as you see me now, in tropical but dripping diffidence, I am the author of that tome.


    Ellis Parker Butler

British Dictionary definitions for tome


  1. a large weighty book
  2. one of the several volumes of a work
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Word Origin for tome

C16: from French, from Latin tomus section of larger work, from Greek tomos a slice, from temnein to cut; related to Latin tondēre to shear


n combining form
  1. indicating an instrument for cuttingosteotome
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Word Origin for -tome

from Greek tomē a cutting, tomos a slice, from temnein to cut
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 tome


1510s, from Middle French tome, from Latin tomus "section of a book, tome," from Greek tomos "volume, section of a book," originally "section, piece cut off," from temnein "to cut," from PIE *tom-/*tem- "to cut" (cf. second element in Latin aestimare "to value, appraise," Old Church Slavonic tina "to cleave, split," Middle Irish tamnaim "I cut off," Welsh tam "morsel"). Originally "a single volume of a multi-volume work;" sense of "a large book" is attested from 1570s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tome in Medicine


  1. Part; area; segment:dermatome.
  2. Cutting instrument:microtome.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.