Meaning of sibylline in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɪbɪlʌɪn/


mainly literary
  • Relating to or characteristic of a sibyl; prophetic and mysterious.

    ‘one glimpses them, uttering sibylline predictions of weal and woe’
    • ‘his fascinating, if sometimes sibylline, meditations on the nation’
    • ‘Mrs Atwater, in sibylline style, predicts of Philip: ‘These hands will bring you great fame.’’
    • ‘The girl's sibylline countenance unnerved viewers who, as one critic put it, were almost ‘repelled by the directness and force of the painting.’’
    • ‘It's confessional and ruminative, yet also clipped, ‘teacherly’ and sibylline.’
    • ‘Neruda is master of a living world in turmoil, and his expression is at times scarcely more than a sibylline stammer, a primitive muttering.’
    • ‘This is how Australians looked to the sibylline travel writer Jan Morris in the 1980s.’
    puzzling, strange, peculiar, curious, funny, queer, odd, weird, bizarre, mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, bewildering, confusing, uncanny, dark, impenetrable, incomprehensible, unexplainable, unfathomable, Delphic, sibylline, unaccountable, insoluble, obscure


Late 16th century from Latin Sibillinus, from Sibylla sibyl.