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

  • n. A handbook; a manual.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A handbook or manual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Handbook; a manual of devotions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A book to be carried in the hand; a manual; a handbook.
  • n. Specifically— A Roman Catholic service-book containing the Little Office of the Virgin.
  • n. An ecclesiastical manual of the Greek Church.

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

  • n. a concise reference book providing specific information about a subject or location


Late Latin enchīridion, from Greek enkheiridion : en-, in; + kheir, hand; + -idion, diminutive suff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἐγχειρίδιον (enkheiridion), from ἐν (en, "in") + χείρ (kheir, "hand") + a diminutive suffix. (Wiktionary)



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  • In The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is also called a "Propaedeutic Enchiridion" (p 184 of the Spectra trade paperback edition)

    May 22, 2016

  • Greek en (in) + cheir (hand) + diminutive... in typical use now, a handbook, doubtless influenced by the work by Epictetus of the same name, but originally could mean either handbook or dagger.

    May 25, 2010