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[sib-uh l] /ˈsɪb əl/
any of certain women of antiquity reputed to possess powers of prophecy or divination.
a female prophet or witch.
Origin of sibyl
1250-1300; < Greek Síbylla Sibylla; replacing Middle English Sibil < Medieval Latin Sibilla < Greek, as above
seer, prophetess, oracle, soothsayer.


or Sibylle

[sib-uh l] /ˈsɪb əl/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sibyl
Historical Examples
  • If sibyl ran fast she could climb into the apple-tree and look right down on to the common.

    Betty Vivian L. T. Meade
  • I even saw you pass with sibyl in the dogcart, but you didn't see me.

  • Thither Anchises, talking thus, conducts his son and the sibyl, and dismisses them by the gate of ivory.

  • Thirdly: Beaugrand, I said, wants as much sibyl as possible, and as much engraving.

    Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin
  • sibyl Dudley and Mary Jasper were driving by in the cool bright sunshine of the late afternoon.

    Justin Wingate, Ranchman John H. Whitson
  • It has all the contortions of the sibyl without the inspiration.

    Familiar Quotations John Bartlett
  • How completely he had saturated himself with all the work of the great English sibyl, appears on every page.

  • It was to tell him that he was engaged to be married to sibyl Vane.

  • sibyl gave them a keen glance out of those very blue eyes, and in her heart of hearts thought they were a poor lot.

    Daddy's Girl L. T. Meade
  • I should like to make some money to take you and sibyl off the stage.

British Dictionary definitions for sibyl


(in ancient Greece and Rome) any of a number of women believed to be oracles or prophetesses, one of the most famous being the sibyl of Cumae, who guided Aeneas through the underworld
a witch, fortune-teller, or sorceress
Derived Forms
sibylline (ˈsɪbɪˌlaɪn; sɪˈbɪlaɪn), sibyllic, sibylic (sɪˈbɪlɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C13: ultimately from Greek Sibulla, of obscure origin
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
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Word Origin and History for sibyl

"woman supposed to possess powers of prophecy, female soothsayer," c.1200, from Old French sibile, from Latin Sibylla, from Greek Sibylla, name for any of several prophetesses consulted by ancient Greeks and Romans, of uncertain origin. Said to be from Doric Siobolla, from Attic Theoboule "divine wish."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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