book·​end | \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend How to pronounce bookend (audio) \

Definition of bookend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a support placed at the end of a row of books marble bookends
2 : one of two usually similar things that begin and end something The second season started with stateside filming that included creating the "bookends," short segments that flank each episode …— Paula Parisi The trip has Eastern bookends. It began Monday in Ottawa and ends next Sunday in Atlanta.The New York Times
3 : one of two similar players on a team who play on opposite sides of the field or court … Taylor is playing without bookend outside linebacker Carl Banks, who is sidelined with a wrist injury.— Peter Kind


bookended; bookending

Definition of bookend (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to be on both sides or ends of (something or someone) : flank … dimples bookending his smile.— Jennifer Kornreich often used in passive constructions … a squat sports arena of concrete and black glass bookended by a pair of massive concrete cylinders …— Wells Tower
2a : to begin and end (something) with two similar things or with the same thing … Klim and Thorpe had bookended the relay with two of the fastest 100-meter split times ever …— Alexander Wolff He bookends his meaty battle narrative with a thorough analysis of Roosevelt's internment policy …— Jonathan Mahler
b : to serve as or mark the beginning and ending of (something) : to be the first and last parts or events of (something) … a movie that, together with All the President's Men, bookends the era of heroic investigative journalism.— Rand Richards Cooper often used in passive constructions … the period bookended by the Civil War and the civil rights movement.— Christopher Benfey The anthology is bookended by an introductory essay by the editors … and an epilogue …— C. L. Salter

Examples of bookend in a Sentence

Noun a pair of bookends shaped like horses He used an empty flowerpot as a bookend.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the video above, watch Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns two nightmare bookend pass-rushers, practice for the first time together on the first day of mandatory minicamp. cleveland, 15 June 2021 Instead, the Clippers rudely canceled the bookend celebration of past glory and current hope, of Dirk and Luka. Dallas News, 11 June 2021 Mickelson’s achievement, his sixth major title, could prove to be a bookend to three decades in golf’s spotlight. New York Times, 23 May 2021 Fisher and Schwartz were both released this offseason as Kansas City moved on from its pair of bookend tackles. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 24 Apr. 2021 Located at the bend in the road where South of Market merges with the Mission, the Eagle was once a bookend to the Stud, another famous leather bar four blocks east. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 May 2021 That's far from the only bookend moment in this finale. Christian Holub,, 23 Apr. 2021 Carolina used its 2021 franchise tag on right tackle Taylor Moton, and the Panthers get a bookend to protect new QB Sam Darnold. Mark Inabinett |, al, 22 Apr. 2021 The quotidian violence documented in Time serves as a bookend to the spectacular nine-minute cell phone documentary plastered across the news in May 2020 that transfixed the nation and the world. Jonathan W. Gray, The New Republic, 21 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bookend.' 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 bookend


1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1956, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of bookend was in 1907

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bookend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for bookend



English Language Learners Definition of bookend

: something placed at the end of a row of books to hold them up


book·​end | \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend How to pronounce bookend (audio) \

Kids Definition of bookend

: a support at the end of a row of books to keep them standing up

More from Merriam-Webster on bookend

Nglish: Translation of bookend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bookend for Arabic Speakers


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