incunabulum


incunabulum
noun /ˌɪn.kjʊˈnæb.jʊ.ləm/
A book, single sheet, or image that was printed — not handwritten — before the year 1501 in Europe.

Something about him reminded me of one of those figures from old-fashioned playing cards or the sort used by fortune-tellers, a print straight from the pages of an incunabulum: his presence was both funereal and incandescent, like a curse dressed in its Sunday best.

See Also: incunable, incunabular, incunabulist

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Incunabulum — In cu*nab u*lum, n.; pl. {Incunabula}. [L. incunabula cradle, birthplace, origin. See 1st {In }, and {Cunabula}.] A work of art or of human industry, of an early epoch; especially, a book printed before a. d. 1500. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • incunabulum — (n.) 1861, singular of INCUNABULA (Cf. incunabula); taken up (originally in German) as a word for any book printed late 15c., in the infancy of the printer s art …   Etymology dictionary

  • Incunabulum — An incunabulum is a book, single sheet, or image that was printed mdash; not handwritten mdash; before the year 1501 in Europe. The origin of the word is the Latin incunabula for swaddling clothes , used by extension for the infancy or early… …   Wikipedia

  • incunabulum — n.; pl. ula [L. incunabulum, cradle] (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) A cocoon …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • incunabulum — in·cu·nab·u·lum (ĭn kyə năbʹyə ləm, ĭng ) n. pl. in·cu·nab·u·la ( lə) 1. A book printed before 1501; an incunable. 2. An artifact of an early period.   [New Latin incūnābulum, from sing. of Latin incūnābula, swaddling clothes, cradle : in , in;… …   Universalium

  • incunabulum — [19] An incunabulum is a book printed before 1501. But etymologically the word has nothing to do with books. It comes from the Latin plural noun incūnābula, which had a range of meanings, including ‘swaddling clothes’, ‘cradle’, and ‘infancy’,… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • incunabulum — [19] An incunabulum is a book printed before 1501. But etymologically the word has nothing to do with books. It comes from the Latin plural noun incūnābula, which had a range of meanings, including ‘swaddling clothes’, ‘cradle’, and ‘infancy’,… …   Word origins

  • incunabulum — noun (plural incunabula) Etymology: New Latin, from Latin incunabula, plural, bands holding the baby in a cradle, from in + cunae cradle Date: 1849 1. a book printed before 1501 2. a work of art or of industry of an early period …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Incunabulum — Term for a book printed before 1501. This word was used by 19c booksellers needing categories and descriptions for their catalogues. [< Lat. in + cuna = cradle] …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • incunabulum —  A book printed at an early date, especially before 1501, and by extension, the early stages of development of something; pl. incunabula …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors


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