from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A selection of literary passages, usually by one author.
  • noun An anthology used in studying a language.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A collection of extracts and choice pieces, especially from a foreign language, with notes of explanation and instruction: as, a Hebrew chrestomathy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A selection of passages, with notes, etc., to be used in acquiring a language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A collection of written passages, used to learn an unfamiliar language.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a selection of passages from different authors that is compiled as an aid in learning a language


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek khrēstomatheia : khrēstos, useful (from khrēsthai, to use; see gher- in Indo-European roots) + -matheia, body of learning (from manthanein, math-, to learn; see mendh- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek χρηστομάθεια (khrēstomatheia, "useful for learning").


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  • In philology or in the study of literature, it is a type of reader or anthology which presents a sequence of example texts, selected to demonstrate the development of language or literary style.

    October 6, 2007

  • "'A trustworthy Turkish scholar would be unspeakably welcome—a Godsend. At present we have to make do with a most pitiful ancient one-eyed Greek eunuch and Dupin's chrestomathy. But would Mr. Graham ever consent to serve?'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 225

    February 14, 2008