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manuscript

A manuscript is a handwritten work. It's still a manuscript if it's typed — if a publisher asks for your manuscript, don't send her something scrawled on notebook paper!

The noun manuscript evolved from the Latin manu scriptus, meaning “written by hand.” Manu is “hand” and scriptus is “to write." It refers to old documents actually written by hand before books were made, but it can also refer to a writer's unpublished work whether it's handwritten or typed. Samuel Johnson said, “Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.” Harrumph!

Definitions of manuscript
  1. noun
    the form of a literary work submitted for publication
    synonyms: ms
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    type of:
    piece of writing, writing, written material
    the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect)
  2. noun
    handwritten book or document
    synonyms: holograph
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    examples:
    Dead Sea scrolls
    (Old Testament) a collection of written scrolls (containing nearly all of the Old Testament) found in a cave near the Dead Sea in the late 1940s
    types:
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    codex, leaf-book
    an unbound manuscript of some ancient classic (as distinguished from a scroll)
    palimpsest
    a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible
    roll, scroll
    a document that can be rolled up (as for storage)
    Megillah
    (Judaism) the scroll of parchment that contains the biblical story of Esther; traditionally read in synagogues to celebrate Purim
    Torah
    (Judaism) the scroll of parchment on which the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture is written; is used in a synagogue during services
    type of:
    autograph
    something written by one's own hand
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