\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

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 — see also cook the books
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 3b) 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: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books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 How to pronounce book (audio) \ noun


bookable \ ˈbu̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce book (audio) \ adjective, chiefly British
booker noun

Synonyms for book

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of book in a Sentence

Noun 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 Adjective His schooling provided him with extensive book knowledge. She had plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience. Verb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The actor envisions Śakra as a potential franchise starter, with the book’s many sub-plots and compelling characters ripe for further big-screen adaptation. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2022 Spoilers for Conversations with Friends, the book and the series, below. Keely Weiss, ELLE, 16 May 2022 The book’s conclusion is realistic if heart-shattering, one that refuses to look away from the ugliness in life. Chelsea Bieker, WSJ, 13 May 2022 Designer Rodney Lawrence literally took a page out of Maurice Sendak’s book in designing this adorable children’s bedroom in a Long Island, New York, home. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 13 May 2022 The book’s title came from reporting in The New York Times about Jonathan Carey, an autistic boy who was killed by an employee of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center, near Albany, where Jonathan was living. New York Times, 12 May 2022 The 2022 version’s screenwriter Scott Teems and director Keith Thomas aren’t scared off by the book’s thorny relationships or bone-deep despair. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 Any criticism of previous productions tended to focus on the musical’s book, which is the nonmusical script. Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 We’re never invited to warm up to the book’s subject, to either root for her or against her. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Non-book readers who are curious: this season is based on The Viscount Who Loved Me. Sara Netzley,, 26 Mar. 2022 Kaepernick Publishing, which was founded in 2019, earlier this year announced a multi-book partnership with children’s media giant Scholastic. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Jan. 2022 The Flyer officially begins service Feb. 1 and guests can pre-book online. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 5 Jan. 2022 Simon & Schuster, which has a multi-book deal with New York Magazine, currently boasts best sellers including a Rupi Kaur collection and memoirs from Stanley Tucci and Tori Amos. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 2 Nov. 2021 At the heart of Herbert’s Dune series, a multi-book tale of space empires, sandworms, religious fervor, and political gamesmanship spanning centuries, was a simple observation: Great power comes with terrible burden. David Sims, The Atlantic, 21 Oct. 2021 The consolidation was mostly to cut down on non-book inventory like magazines, records, gifts and used DVDs, not because of pandemic distress. Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2021 Visitors must pre-book tickets and follow Covid-19 safety precautions. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 May 2021 Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, for example, signed an $8 million multi-book deal with Macmillan Publishers in 2017. Madeline Berg, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For something even more exclusive, though, a very lucky few will be able to book a night this June at Paris' famous Moulin Rouge, in a secret room inside the windmill itself. Maureen O'hare, CNN, 14 May 2022 People may be able to book the day of at the brewery,701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, but tour spots are first come, first served. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Apr. 2022 Being able to book nice rooms at mid-week rates as low as $99 motivated those tired of winter and two years of lockdown to get away. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 Last summer, Peterson was able to book 14 days of camping at Glacier National Park in August. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, 14 Feb. 2022 WhatsApp users will be able to book an Uber ride in three ways: messaging Uber’s business account number; scanning a QR code; or clicking a link directly to open an Uber WhatsApp chat. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 2 Dec. 2021 Aselstine hopped on the phone and after a half-hour wait was able to book appointments. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Oct. 2021 Eligible recipients will be able to book appointments for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters as soon as Friday. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2021 With guests able to book two private 90-minute sessions per day, rest and wellness are central at Kitoki Inn. Charlotte Boates, Vogue, 18 Aug. 2021 See More

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

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

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

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Buying Guide

The Britannica Reviews team has selected the best books to put on your reading list.

Learn More About book

Time Traveler for book

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near book



book account

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Statistics for book

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Book.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for book


\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (an arrested person) undergo booking

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Nglish: Translation of book for Spanish Speakers

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