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[tohm] /toʊm/
a book, especially a very heavy, large, or learned book.
a volume forming a part of a larger work.
Origin of tome
1510-20; < French < Latin tomus < Greek tómos slice, piece, roll of paper, book, akin to témnein to cut Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tomes
  • If a picture is worth a thousand words, digital satellite imagery could inspire tomes' worth of new environmental policies.
  • Science textbooks are born as clunky, out-of-date tomes the moment they roll off the printing press.
  • Anyone who has slalomed through the avalanche of specialist tomes on the crisis will recognise many of his sources.
  • Urban centres can be counted on to provide affable places to buy tomes, flirt with bookworms and listen to visiting authors.
  • The thirteen ancient tomes found there contained some fifty-two tractates, a few previously known, and many unknown.
  • Entire conferences and scholarly tomes have been devoted to this catechism, with roughly the same results.
  • But detailed scientific tomes have historically been the main communication vehicle for climate researchers.
British Dictionary definitions for tomes


a large weighty book
one of the several volumes of a work
Word Origin
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
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 tomes



1510s, from Middle French tome, from Latin tomus "section of a book, tome," from Greek 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 Latin aestimare "to value, appraise," Old Church Slavonic tina "to cleave, split," Middle Irish 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
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