\ˈbu̇k \

Definition of book 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a set of written sheets of skin or paper or tablets of wood or ivory

b : a set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together between a front and back cover an address book

c : a long written or printed literary composition reading a good book reference books hardcover and paperback books

d : a major division of a treatise or literary work the books of the Bible

e accounting : a record of a business's financial transactions or financial condition often used in plural the books show a profit

f : magazine sense 1a

g : e-book

2 capitalized : bible sense 1 put his hand on the Book and took the oath

3 : something that yields knowledge or understanding the great book of nature her face was an open book

4a(1) : the total available knowledge and experience that can be brought to bear on a task or problem tried every trick in the book

(2) : inside information or analysis the book on him is that he can't hit a curveball

b : the standards or authority relevant in a situation runs her business by the book

5a : all the charges that can be made against an accused person threw the book at him

b : a position from which one must answer for certain acts : account bring criminals to book

6a musical theater : libretto

b : the script of a play

c music : a book of arrangements for a musician or dance orchestra : musical repertory

7 : a packet of items bound together like a book a book of stamps a book of matches

8 gambling

a : bookmaker

b : the bets registered by a bookmaker also : the business or activity of giving odds (see odds sense 4b) and taking bets

9 card games : the number of tricks (see trick entry 1 sense 4) a cardplayer or side must win before any trick can have scoring value

in one's book

: in one's own opinion

in one's good books

: in favor with one getting back in his boss's good books

one for the book or one for the books

: an act or occurrence worth noting

on the books

: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books



Definition of book (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : derived from books (see book entry 1 sense 1) and not from practical experience book learning

2 accounting : shown by ledgers book assets


booked; booking; books

Definition of book (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to register (something, such as a name) for some future activity or condition (as to engage transportation or reserve lodgings) he was booked to sail on Monday

b : to schedule engagements for book the band for a week

c : to set aside time for booking a strategy meeting

d : to reserve in advance book two seats at the theater tried to make reservations, but they were all booked up

2a law enforcement : to enter charges against in a police register was booked on suspicion of murder

b of a referee : to note the name or number of (someone, such as a soccer player) for a serious infraction of the rules booking him for a late tackle

intransitive verb

1 : to make a reservation book through your travel agent

2 chiefly British : to register in a hotel usually used with in went to the hotel and booked in

3 slang : leave, go especially : to depart quickly We booked out of there.

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Other Words from book


bookful \ˈbu̇k-​ˌfu̇l \ noun


bookable \ˈbu̇-​kə-​bəl \ adjective, chiefly British
booker noun

Synonyms for book

Synonyms: Noun

tome, volume

Synonyms: Verb

bespeak, reserve

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Examples of book in a Sentence


The shelves in his office are filled with books. That's one of the best books I've read in a long time. a novelist who has written some wonderful books The library has many dictionaries and other reference books. the books of the Bible a story that is told in the Book of Job


His schooling provided him with extensive book knowledge. She had plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience.


They booked two seats at the theater. They booked tickets for a direct flight from London to New York. I booked a table at our favorite restaurant. She booked through her travel agent. We will need to book early. She booked me on a flight from Oslo to Paris. He was booked to sail on Monday. The band was booked to play at the reception.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the meantime, Bredesen, the UCLA neurology professor, has been touring around the country, promoting his program through his best-selling book, The End of Alzheimer’s, and giving lectures at scientific conferences and talks to community groups. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Explore the world's oddities every week with Ken Jennings, and check out his book Maphead for more geography trivia. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Tiny Minnesota Town Is Completely Surrounded by Canada," 5 Nov. 2018 Instead, in his monumental 1687 book Principia, Newton didn’t bother with the aether. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 That, or at least a convenient surface for your book that's not the tile floor. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Toilet Paper Holder Is Essentially An End Table For Your Bathroom," 12 Oct. 2018 Former First Lady Michelle Obama is currently on a massive book tour promoting her new memoir, Becoming. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Barack Obama Surprised Michelle With a Bouquet of Roses During Her Book Tour," 19 Nov. 2018 To help you get started, here are 21 books published this year that would make great holiday gifts. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "21 Best Books of 2018 to Buy for the Bookworm in Your Life," 15 Nov. 2018 This was back in the pre- and early-internet days, when full-color books were the preferable way to find Pokemon strategies or Metroid secrets. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Mythological Assassin's Creed monsters, Prima Games plans its last strategy guide," 9 Nov. 2018 Kondo's New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which was released in 2014, motivated people all around the world to free their homes of clutter in favor of more thoughtful, mindful lives. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "How to Organize Your Home in 2019, According to Marie Kondo," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But even before all that leakage started, the Thrones fandom (especially book readers) have wondered for years if an ice dragon would finally appear. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Why Game of Thrones Fans Saw That Hideous Dragon Twist Coming," 20 Aug. 2017 But even before all that leakage started, the Thrones fandom (especially book readers) have wondered for years if an ice dragon would finally appear. Joanna Robinson,, "Why Game of Thrones Fans Saw That Hideous Dragon Twist Coming," 20 Aug. 2017 But the deal could help American capture more traffic between the United States and China through arrangements like code sharing, an industry term for a partnership that allows two airlines to more easily book passengers on each other’s flights. Neil Gough, New York Times, "American Airlines Buys China Southern Stake as Traffic Booms," 27 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the United States, 42 percent of vacation homeowners cover all their costs through rental income, 40 percent have seen increased booking over the last year, and 28 percent turn a steady profit. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How vacation homes went from private escape to investment opportunities," 2 Oct. 2018 Just figure out when your area's fall foliage will be at its peak with this handy map, and book your ride ASAP! Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "The Prettiest Fall Train Trip in the U.S. Starts at Just $53," 29 June 2018 MoviePass customers can only book tickets through their mobile apps at specific movie theaters and are limited to tickets available on that day. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "AMC Theaters Announces Monthly Subscription Plan to Rival MoviePass. Which Plan Is Best for You?," 21 June 2018 The Metro is the local gender-bendy nightclub and—every city has one—the spot all the RuPaul’s Drag Race girls get booked at. Andrew Richdale, GQ, "Five Gay Vacation Spots That Are Less Tired Than Fire Island," 21 June 2018 Online court records show Steven R. Hogan, 38, was booked into the Texas County jail and released after posting bond June 17. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Missouri police chief arrested for assault. Wife says he tried to remove her jewelry, reports say," 19 June 2018 Bexar County Sheriff's Office deputy Jose Nunez is seen in a June 17, 2018 booking mug provided by the Bear County Sheriff's office. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "Bexar deputy accused of sexual assaulting 4-year-old, blackmailing undocumented immigrant," 17 June 2018 Winslow was reportedly house hunting for his wife’s mother and was stopped then booked by the San Diego Sheriff’s departmen after a woman called the fuzz. Angela Helm, The Root, "#HouseHuntingWhileBlack: Ex-NFL Player Arrested in California After ‘Over-reactive’ Neighbor Calls Police," 10 June 2018 Taking advantage of this new market and their newfound popularity among white audiences, the Blind Boys toured the U.S. and Europe, booked festivals, and received a Grammy nomination, for their 1992 album Deep River. Santi Elijah Holley, The Atlantic, "Remembering Clarence Fountain, a Gospel Legend," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'book.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of book


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1807, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for book


Middle English, from Old English bōc; akin to Old High German buoh book, Goth boka letter


see book entry 1


see book entry 1

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Statistics for book

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for book

The first known use of book was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for book



English Language Learners Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a set of printed sheets of paper that are held together inside a cover : a long written work

: a long written work that can be read on a computer

: a set of sheets of paper that are inside a cover and that you can write information on



English Language Learners Definition of book (Entry 2 of 3)

: learned from reading books and not from experience



English Language Learners Definition of book (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make arrangements so that you will be able to use or have (something, such as a room, table, or seat) at a later time

: to make arrangements for (someone) to do, use, or have something at a later time

: to schedule a performance or appearance by (someone, such as a musician)


\ˈbu̇k \

Kids Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a set of sheets of paper bound together

2 : a long written work a book about birds

3 : a large division of a written work the books of the Bible

4 : a pack of small items bound together a book of matches

5 : the records of a business's accounts often used in pl. a credit on the books


booked; booking

Kids Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reserve for future use He booked rooms at the hotel.



Legal Definition of book 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a record of a business's financial transactions or financial condition often used in pl. the books show a profit

3 : the bets registered by a bookmaker also : the business or activity of giving odds and taking bets

Legal Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (an arrested person) undergo booking

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More from Merriam-Webster on book

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with book

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for book

Spanish Central: Translation of book

Nglish: Translation of book for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of book for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about book

Comments on book

What made you want to look up book? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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