1. a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of printing.
  2. a public clerk or writer, usually one having official status.
  3. Also called sopher, sofer. Judaism. one of the group of Palestinian scholars and teachers of Jewish law and tradition, active from the 5th century b.c. to the 1st century a.d., who transcribed, edited, and interpreted the Bible.
  4. a writer or author, especially a journalist.

verb (used without object), scribed, scrib·ing.

  1. to act as a scribe; write.

verb (used with object), scribed, scrib·ing.

  1. to write down.


  1. a person who copies documents, esp a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing
  2. a clerk or public copyist
  3. Old Testament a recognized scholar and teacher of the Jewish Law
  4. Judaism a man qualified to write certain documents in accordance with religious requirements
  5. an author or journalist: used humorously
  6. another name for scriber


  1. to score a line on (a surface) with a pointed instrument, as in metalworking


  1. Augustin Eugène (oɡystɛ̃ øʒɛn). 1791–1861, French author or coauthor of over 350 vaudevilles, comedies, and libretti for light opera

n.c.1200, “professional interpreter of the Jewish Law” (late 11c. as a surname), from Church Latin scriba “teacher of Jewish law,” used in Vulgate to render Greek grammateus (corresponding to Hebrew sopher “writer, scholar”), special use of Latin scriba “keeper of accounts, secretary, writer,” from past participle stem of scribere “to write;” see script (n.). Sense “one who writes, official or public writer” in English is from late 14c. v.“to write,” mid-15c., from Latin scribere “to write” (see script (n.)).

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