The doctrines and practices of the ancient Jewish scribes; the fact of conforming to these doctrines or practices. Also (rarely) in plural: attitudes or beliefs similar to those of the scribes.
Sometimes depreciative, with reference to the legalistic or hypocritical character commonly attributed to the scribes in the New Testament.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Jeffry Watts (d. 1663). From scribe + -ism.