Definitions

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

  • noun One of a number of women regarded as oracles or prophets by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • noun A woman prophet.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence An old woman professing to be a prophetess or fortune-teller; a sorceress.

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

  • noun (Class. Antiq.) A woman supposed to be endowed with a spirit of prophecy.
  • noun A female fortune teller; a pythoness; a prophetess.

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

  • noun A pagan female oracle or prophetess, especially the Cumaean sibyl.

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

  • noun (ancient Rome) a woman who was regarded as an oracle or prophet
  • noun a woman who tells fortunes

Etymologies

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

[Middle English sibile, from Old French, from Latin Sibylla, from Greek Sibulla.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin Sibylla, from Ancient Greek Σίβυλλα.

Examples

  • But who does not know that the power of the sibyl is doubled by the opposition of sex?

    Oldtown Folks

  • 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.

    Archive 2004-08-01

  • This corpse, this woman -- proclaim it to every one -- the sibyl was my mother yes, yes, my own mother!

    Complete Project Gutenberg Georg Ebers Works

  • 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.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Georg Ebers Works

  • 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.

    Quo Vadis: a narrative of the time of Nero

  • 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.

    The Curse of the Wendigo

  • 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.

    Reviews of fantasy and science fiction books

  • 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.

    The Curse of the Wendigo

  • 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.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • But no lightbulbs appeared over my head, no sibyl sang her song for me.

    Songs of Love & Death

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