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n. pl. chres·tom·a·thies
1. A selection of literary passages, usually by one author.
2. An anthology used in studying a language.

[Greek khrēstomatheia : khrēstos, useful (from khrēsthai, to use; see gher- in Indo-European roots) + -matheia, body of learning (from manthanein, math-, to learn; see mendh- in Indo-European roots).]

chres′to·math′ic (krĕs′tə-măth′ĭk) adj.


n, pl -thies
(Linguistics) rare a collection of literary passages, used in the study of language
[C19: from Greek khrēstomatheia, from khrēstos useful + mathein to learn]
chrestomathic, chrestomathical adj


(krɛsˈtɒm ə θi)

n., pl. -thies.
a collection of selected literary passages, often by one author and esp. from a foreign language.
[1825–35; < New Latin chrestomathia < Greek chrēstomátheia, derivative of chrēstó(s) useful]
chres`to•math′ic (-təˈmæθ ɪk) adj.


1. a collection of literary selections, especially in a foreign language, as an aid to learning.
2. a collection of literary selections from one author. — chrestomathie, adj.
See also: Collections and Collecting


 a selection of choice literary passages from one or more authors, 1832.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chrestomathy - a selection of passages from different authors that is compiled as an aid in learning a language
excerpt, excerption, extract, selection - a passage selected from a larger work; "he presented excerpts from William James' philosophical writings"
References in periodicals archive ?
They discuss Arabic studies in the Netherlands, England, Sweden, Spain, Salamanca, Rome, the Ottoman Empire, and Zwickau, and the roles of Johann Zechendorff, Gustaf Peringer Lillieblad, Solomon Negri, Jonas Hallenberg, and Johannes Heyman, as well as the editions and presentations of Arabic poetry and excerpts from the Qur'an in textbooks and chrestomathies, Arabic studies outside of early modern universities, and learning Arabic by merchants and officials stationed in the Arabic-speaking world.
Pardee's Manuel d'ougaritique prove to be superior, because they are based on actual chrestomathies with annotated or even vocalized texts.
As his collection of toast-master chrestomathies attests, he understood the power of quotation: that, when addressing a crowd, one may be bolstered by the sayings of others, of a writer or thinker, for instance, whose words capture a truth that can then launch an argument or anecdote of one's own.