a book, especially a very heavy, large, or learned book.
a volume forming a part of a larger work.

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


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

combining form representing Greek tomḗ a cutting; tómos a cut, slice; -tomon (neuter), -tomos (masculine) -cutting (adj.) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tome
World English Dictionary
tome (təʊm)
1.  a large weighty book
2.  one of the several volumes of a work
[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
indicating an instrument for cutting: osteotome
[from Greek tomē a cutting, tomos a slice, from temnein to cut]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1510s, from M.Fr. tome, from L. tomus "section of a book, tome," from Gk. 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 L. aestimare "to value, appraise," O.C.S. tina "to cleave, split," M.Ir. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-tome suff.

  1. Part; area; segment: dermatome.

  2. Cutting instrument: microtome.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
If you didn't know the book's vintage, you might confuse it for a lost medieval
His tome is a litany of disappointment and frustration, studded with plenty of
  useful insights and anecdotes.
The snarky tone is quite reminiscent of the marginalia on the many, many drafts
  of said forgotten tome.
Bookshops were bombed and the tome was burned in public across the world.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature