General English

General Science

  • noun a collection of files, documents, books, records or other materials which can be consulted or borrowed by the public, usually kept in a public place


  • noun a collection of things for use on a computer, e.g. programs or diskettes
  • noun a collection of routines or instructions used by a computer program


  • A collection of routines, programs, files, or storage media. The content of such a collection is usually related in some manner. For example, a data library may consist of a list of files available from a server or storage medium, while a class library is composed of a set of routines and programs that programmers can use to write object oriented programs.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a collection of books, documents, newspapers and audiovisual materials kept and organised for people to read or borrow
  • abbreviationlib.

Real Estate

  • noun a room, building or institution where a collection of books or other research materials is kept

Origin & History of “library”

The Latin word for ‘book’ was liber. It is related to Russian lub ‘bark’ and Lithuanian luba ‘board’, and originally denoted ‘bark’, as used for writing on before the introduction of papyrus. From it was derived librāria ‘bookseller’s shop’, which Old French took over as librairie and passed on to English. The English word has only ever been used for a ‘place where books are kept’, or for a ‘collection of books’, but French librairie now exclusively means ‘bookseller’s shop’. other English derivatives of Latin liber include libel (13th c.) (from the diminutive form libellus ‘little book’; it originally denoted in English simply a ‘formal written claim by a plaintiff’, and did not take on its current connotations of ‘defamation’ until the 17th century) and libretto (18th c.) (also literally a ‘little book’, from an Italian diminutive form).