American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One of a number of women regarded as oracles or prophets by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
- n. A woman prophet.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In anc. myth., one of certain women reputed to possess special powers of prophecy or divination and intercession with the gods in behalf of those who resorted to them. Different writers mention from one to twelve sibyls, but the number commonly reckoned is ten, enumerated as the Persian or Babylonian, Libyan, Delphian, Cimmerian, Erythræan, Samian, Cumæan, Hellespontine or Trojan, Phrygian, and Tiburtine. Of these the most celebrated was the Cumæan sibyl (of Cumæ in Italy), who, according to the story, appeared before Tarquin the Proud and offered him nine books for sale. He refused to buy them, whereupon she burned three, and offered the remaining six at the original price. On being again refused, she destroyed three more, and offered the remaining three at the price she had asked for the nine. Tarquin, astonished at this conduct, bought the books, which were found to contain directions as to the worship of the gods and the policy of the Romans. These sibylline books, or books professing to have this origin, written in Greek hexameters, were kept with great care at Rome, and consulted from time to time by oracle-keepers under the direction of the senate. They were destroyed at the burning of the temple of Jupiter in 83 b. c. Fresh collections were made, which were finally destroyed soon after a. d. 400. The Sibylline Oracles referred to by the Christian fathers belong to early ecclesiastical literature, and are a curious mixture of Jewish and Christian material, with probably here and there a snatch from the older pagan source. In composition they seem to be of various dates, from the second century before to the third century after Christ.
- n. Hence An old woman professing to be a prophetess or fortune-teller; a sorceress.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Class. Antiq.) A woman supposed to be endowed with a spirit of prophecy.
- n. A female fortune teller; a pythoness; a prophetess.
- n. (ancient Rome) a woman who was regarded as an oracle or prophet
- n. a woman who tells fortunes
- Latin Sibylla, from Ancient Greek Σίβυλλα. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English sibile, from Old French, from Latin Sibylla, from Greek Sibulla. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But who does not know that the power of the sibyl is doubled by the opposition of sex?”
“The group of rappellers, called Operation Sibyl - in ancient Greece, a sibyl was a fortuneteller - but also known as the Plaza Four, said they had had a tough 25 hours in jail before they were arraigned on felony and misdemeanor charges of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.”
“He beckoned to them, and while he went from one to another, saying: "The sibyl was my mother -- Zorrillo has murdered my mother," the coffin was borne into the house.”
“This corpse, this woman -- proclaim it to every one -- the sibyl was my mother yes, yes, my own mother!”
“It seemed to him that among the Christians Lygia was a kind of sibyl or priestess whom they surrounded with obedience and honor; and he yielded himself also to that honor.”
“Along the way, he meets a sibyl named Hahn who is unable to go herself but would like someone to find her daughter, another sibyl who ran away to World's End.”
“But no lightbulbs appeared over my head, no sibyl sang her song for me.”
“The eternally young, fertile bride; the ancient, barren spinster; the siren; the sibyl—she was all these things, all at once, his beloved, the one for whom he denied himself the companionship of mere mortal company, against whom even the breathtaking Muriel Chanler paled.”
“Jo Graham is the author of Black Ships, a retelling of the Aeneid from the point of view of the sibyl, and the upcoming Hand of Isis, to be published in March 2009.”
“But anyone can grasp the timeless stereotype of the woman who speaks for natural forces: the siren, the sibyl, or the witch.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘sibyl’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Turned this up on etymonline.com (link). It's amazing.
1937, coined in the fantasy tales of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973).
On a blank leaf I scrawled: 'In a hole...
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Words taken from I, Claudius by Robert Graves.
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Words which are either entirely new to me or;
Words which I comprehend generally but would prefer a more precise definition.
EXPECTED vs. SURPRISE
Looking for tweets for sibyl.