Definition of Bible in English:


See synonyms for Bible

Translate Bible into Spanish


  • 1the BibleThe Christian scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments.

    ‘verses from the Bible’
    • ‘Bible stories’
    • ‘Bible study’
    1. 1.1the BibleThe Jewish scriptures, consisting of the Torah or Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa or Writings.
    2. 1.2A copy of the Christian or Jewish scriptures.
      ‘clutching a large black Bible under his arm’
      • ‘the New English Bible’
      • ‘A court usher held a copy of the bible to her right hand for the woman to take the oath.’
      • ‘You won't find the Apocrypha in most bibles, as for Christians of the Reformation it is not regarded as Scripture.’
      • ‘It shows an African man from the waist up, holding a bible, with his arms extended and raised.’
      • ‘He would do so every day and talk to the family about the bible and Jesus.’
      • ‘I hadn't read the bible, nor asked any Christians why they considered it so important.’
      • ‘You dropped your big black bible on the table with a thud for emphasis.’
      • ‘On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to retrieve his bible and looked up Psalm 129.’
      • ‘Some 561 editions of the Bible were produced in English between 1520 and 1649 (enough bibles were printed in the 1630s alone to provide a copy for one in every four English households).’
      • ‘The priest intoned the last few words of the ceremony and closed his thick black bible sharply.’
      • ‘My own godfather gave me a leather bound bible on my christening.’
      • ‘It reminded me of how the ancient scribes lovingly embellished letters in bibles and illuminated manuscripts with human and animal forms.’
      • ‘The most poignant relics, however, are the items brought from their homeland, including an air-piano, a harp, numerous bibles and the original embarkation document for the passengers who boarded the Mimosa.’
      • ‘The creation of the digital images is surprisingly swift. 1,300 pages of the bibles were photographed in just 4 days.’
      • ‘Even today, many bibles have different translations.’
      • ‘We stop and he takes down one of the smaller bibles.’
      • ‘The priests process round the church, swinging clouds of incense, carrying their elaborate silver Ethiopian crosses and richly bound bibles.’
      • ‘She collects used stockings and tights to be sent to India, where they can be used as bandages, bibles to pass on to missionaries abroad and used stamps for other charities.’
      • ‘A number of bibles and books, including old church records will be put into storage after the sale goes through.’
      • ‘We provide training for them, and I make sure they have all the materials they need - things like bibles, books and study materials.’
      • ‘Often, the introductory pages of local bibles or books of hours would be elegantly decorated with wonderful letter forms.’
  • 2

    (also bible)
    informal A book regarded as authoritative in a particular sphere.

    • ‘“Larousse Gastronomique,” the bible of French cooking’
    • ‘This is the bible of pregnancy books, answering virtually every question you could ever think of. A great resource.’
    • ‘But I was also obsessed with the possibility of the future turning out to be horrible - so I carried around 1984, Farenheit 451 and Brave New World like they were my Bibles.’
    • ‘The Les Routiers guide - one of the few bibles of the catering and accommodation world - contains 600 entries, covering hotels, restaurants, inns, B and Bs and cafes.’
    • ‘It is sometimes referred to as the "electronics bible", and remains a popular text.’
    • ‘The annual Blue Book, bible of the insurance industry, will be published in the next few weeks.’
    • ‘The book became the bible of the democracy movement, and the city a place of pilgrimage for human rights activists.’
    • ‘His book, London, The Biography is the absolute bible for those who like to know their London history.’
    • ‘My bible is Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, a two-volume cookery book I was given at 25.’
    • ‘Most recently, she decided to entrust me with one of her cooking bibles called L' Art Culinaire Moderne written by Henri-Paul Pellaprat, which she acquired in late 1946 as her handwritten ex-libris attests.’
    • ‘A cooking bible can be so helpful when it comes to unusual ingredients, and cooking techniques.’
    • ‘I've used this edition and the previous two editions as my never-to-be-missed always-at-hand 'bible' of computing.’
    • ‘New editions appeared regularly as the book rapidly became a bible for all aspiring radiologists worldwide.’
    • ‘This is the bible of cooking – as simple or as complicated as you care to get.’
    • ‘Looking for an Italian cooking bible? Look no further. This is one of my favorite types of cookbooks by far.’
    • ‘I know it is much maligned by those who prefer the prior editions, but it has become my beloved bible of cooking!’
    handbook, manual, ABC, companion, guide, primer, essential book, authoritative book
    View synonyms
  • 3The scriptures of any religion.

    ‘Altogether, nearly eleven million Bibles and Scripture portions were distributed in 40 languages to 126 countries.’
    • ‘We will import no missionaries, distribute no Bibles.’
    • ‘It's hopefully safe to assume that though the Bibles are new, they will not be ‘improved.’’
    • ‘In some courtrooms, witnesses of different races were required to take oaths on separate Bibles.’
    • ‘For those of you who forgot your Bibles this morning, the passage is here.’
    • ‘I have eight Bibles, and the Ten Commandments are difference in each one of them.’
    • ‘Benevolent societies provided religious schooling to impoverished children, Bibles to their unchurched fathers, and sewing to their underemployed mothers.’
    • ‘We fought and died against oppression for the right to read our own Bibles.’
    • ‘After fourteen hours of manually transporting stacks of Bibles from the conveyor belt to the shipping depot, he followed the crowd of fatigued workers to the auditorium.’
    • ‘The German printer produced approximately 180 Bibles in Latin, of which 48 are known to survive today in collections throughout the world.’
    • ‘He made extensive travels through Japan - Kyoto, Shiga and Hiroshima prefecture - selling Bibles door-to-door.’
    • ‘There are a lot of Bibles in the world, it's true.’
    • ‘A hospital trust is considering removing Bibles from patients' bedsides for fear that they may be spreading the superbug MRSA, it emerged today.’
    • ‘Some prisons restrict inmates' access to Bibles, or prohibit inmates from having concordances or biblical commentaries.’
    • ‘The proliferation of fancy bindings, for example, sold lots of product but made Bibles objects to be admired rather than texts to be absorbed.’
    • ‘Is it possible that the truth of the Bibles, (for there are many), is that truth is beyond our grasp and therefore meant to remain a mystery?’
    • ‘This assures a continual supply of Bibles in that language, and generates funds for subsidies in countries where sales are difficult.’
    • ‘School supplies and Bibles were thrown down wells.’
    • ‘Give the Bibles at the beginning or the end of confirmation.’
    • ‘When you entered the room, the wall to the right had the black stains and a bookcase full of bibles for all the different religions.’



/ˈbīb(ə)l/ /ˈbaɪb(ə)l/


Middle English via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin biblia, from Greek (ta) biblia ‘(the) books’, from biblion ‘book’, originally a diminutive of biblos ‘papyrus, scroll’, of Semitic origin.