American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of questionable authorship or authenticity.
- adj. Erroneous; fictitious: "Wildly apocryphal rumors about starvation in Petrograd . . . raced through Russia's trenches” ( W. Bruce Lincoln).
- adj. Bible Of or having to do with the Apocrypha.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of doubtful authorship, authenticity, or inspiration; spurious; fictitious; false.
- Specifically— Eccles.: Of doubtful sanction; uncanonical; having no ecclesiastical authority.
- Of or pertaining to the Apocrypha: as, “the Apocryphal writers,” Addison.
- n. A writing not canonical; a book or passage of uncertain source, authority, or credit.
- adj. Of, or pertaining to, the Apocrypha.
- adj. Of doubtful authenticity, or lacking authority; not regarded as canonical.
- adj. Of dubious veracity; of questionable accuracy or truthfulness; anecdotal or in the nature of an urban legend.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Pertaining to the Apocrypha.
- adj. Not canonical. Hence: Of doubtful authority; equivocal; mythic; fictitious; spurious; false.
- adj. of or belonging to the Apocrypha
- adj. being of questionable authenticity
- From Late Latin apocryphus secret, not approved for public reading, from Greek apokryphos hidden, obscure, thus (books) of unknown authorship, from apo- away + kryptein to hide. Properly plural (the single would be apocryphon), but commonly treated as a collective singular. Apocryphal of doubtful authenticity is from 1590. (Wiktionary)
“The term apocryphal in connection with special Gospels must be understood as bearing no more unfavourable an import than”
“The original and proper sense of the term apocryphal as applied to the pretended sacred books was early obscured.”
“The same is the opinion of the Jews respecting the other books, which we call apocryphal, as is manifest from all the copies of the Hebrew Bible extant; for, undoubtedly if they believed that any of these books were canonical, they would give them a place in their sacred volume.”
“And, of course, to label any regionor the literary representation of a regionas legitimate or apocryphal, is best left to the polemicists.”
“If someone paraphrases those thoughts, and improperly puts quote marks around the paraphrase, then maybe apocryphal is not quite the right word for that impropriety.”
“That these propositions cannot be affirmed of any other books claiming to be books of Scripture; by which are meant those books which are commonly called apocryphal books of the New Testament.”
“Babylonian captivity these books were apocryphal, that is, hidden or unknown to the people, they were constantly sacred — they bore the stamp of divinity — they were, as all the world agrees, the only monument of truth upon earth.”
“Nor can any further light be gained from the story of what Mr. Lang has happily termed the apocryphal eight which the King of Scots stroked on the Dee in the reign of Edgar.”
“When he comes to the history of the Restoration from Babylon, Josephus follows what is now known as the apocryphal Book of Esdras, in preference to the Biblical Ezra and Nehemiah, probably because a”
“Josephus follows what is now known as the apocryphal Book of Esdras, in preference to the Biblical Ezra and Nehemiah, probably because a Hellenistic guide whom he had before him did likewise.”
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