Meaning of LIBRARY in English


I. ˈlīˌbrerē, -_b(r)ərē, -_brē, -ri also ÷-ˌber- sometimes -ˌbər.ē or -ˌbər.i noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English librarie, from Medieval Latin librarium & libraria, from neuter & feminine respectively of Latin librarius of books, from libr-, liber book + -arius -ary — more at leaf


a. : a room, a section or series of sections of a building, or a building itself given over to books, manuscripts, musical scores, or other literary and sometimes artistic materials (as paintings or musical recordings) usually kept in some convenient order for use but not for sale

the house contained a library besides the living, dining, and kitchen areas

a college library

— see public library


(1) : a collection of books, manuscripts, or other literary materials kept (as in a library) for study or reading or a collection of paintings, musical scores, musical recordings, photographs, maps, or films kept for convenient use, study, or enjoyment

a library of early American travel books

a library of Bach recordings

a private library of manuscript plays

(2) : an institution for the custody or administration of such a collection

the Library of Congress

(3) : a collection suggesting a library (as a reference library)

the most complete library of illustrations available in book form — advt

a library of color chips — American Fabrics

c. : rental library


(1) : canon 3c

the goal of going through the entire Shakespeare library — Lewis Funke

(2) : a series of books of some similarity issued by a publisher

a Hawthorne library

(3) : a series of reference materials bearing on the same matter (as programs, routines, and subroutines in digital computing)

e. : morgue 2a

f. : something suggesting a library especially in being a receptacle of wide or miscellaneous information

men and women … who are oral libraries for neighborhood history and gossip — American Guide Series: Tennessee

2. Britain : a business established to conduct transactions for others : agency ; especially : a theater ticket agency

II. noun

: a collection of cloned DNA fragments that are maintained in a suitable cellular environment and that often represent the genetic material of a particular organism or tissue

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.