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

  • n. A treatise; an essay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a treatise

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A treatise; a tract; an essay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A treatise; a tract.


Latin tractātus; see tract2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tractātus, past participle of tractō ("discuss"), the iterative or frequentative of trahō. (Wiktionary)


  • Tibble ensconced himself in the innermost corner with a "tractate," borrowed from his friend Lucas, and sent the apprentices to gaze their fill at the rapidly filling circles of seats.

    The Armourer's Prentices

  • Each seder deals with a certain area (agriculture, marriage, the Temple); each seder is comprised of masechtos (plural of masechah, meaning "tractate"), and each masechah usually deals with a specific issue (marriage, slaves, property).


  • "tractate," borrowed from his friend Lucas, and sent the apprentices to gaze their fill at the rapidly filling circles of seats.

    The Armourer's Prentices

  • In fact the Talmud, in tractate Brachot 26b, states that morning prayers were instituted by Abraham in that very spot of prayerful protest.

    Ari Hart: Holding God Accountable: Faith And Disaster

  • Similarly, the Talmud's treatment of labor relations tractate Baba Metzia is not readily translatable into a simplistic distinction between capitalism and socialism.

    Economic Systems, the Bible and a Just Community

  • She herself taught Pirkei Avot (Avot, a tractate in the Mishnah) and frequently sat in on classes being taught by other teachers.

    Chana Shpitzer.

  • The tractate is full of details of interest in the history of obstetrics, gynecology and sexuality.

    Niddah, Tractate.

  • The most important textual witness is Antonine, an early Genizah fragment which covers nearly all the tractate (Meacham).

    Niddah, Tractate.

  • The literary character of the tractate links with a brief item from the time of Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel (first century c.e.).

    Kinnim (Tractate).

  • Tractate Kinnim (“nest” or “birds in a nest”), the last tractate in Order Kodashim, deals with the smallest type of sacrifice, a pair of turtledoves or young pigeons — one nest, hence the title.

    Kinnim (Tractate).


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • “An entire tractate, or volume, of the Talmud deals with the eruv.”

    The New York Times, A Jewish Ritual Collides With Mother Nature, by Samuel G. Freedman, March 5, 2010

    March 6, 2010

  • "Cruel inanity"? Dang, Aldous, why you got so much hate?!

    March 29, 2008

  • Okay, maybe they're not very smart. But they sure are purty.

    March 29, 2008

  • A peacock and his hen trailed their shabby finery across the turf of the lower lawn. Odious birds! Their necks, thick and greedily fleshy at the roots, tapered up to the cruel inanity of their brainless heads, their flat eyes and piercing beaks. The fabulists were right, he reflected, when they took beasts to illustrate their tractates of human morality.

    - Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

    March 29, 2008