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 This album is very much a kind of bookend to my first album. Jordan Runtagh,, "Rufus Wainwright Talks New Album Unfollow the Rules and Revisiting His Past," 31 July 2020 Not only is Labas back with two bookend tackles protecting him, a top target in Jeremy Jonozzo and running back Garret Kubitz, but Hudson has a similar experience at those positions. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Week-by-week 2020 high school football schedule: What this season could look like," 29 June 2020 The socially distant ceremony called for families to ferry their graduating seniors to the Columbia County Courthouse, where each student ascended the steps to receive their diploma and place a bookend on the last 13 years. oregonlive, "Scheduling is a delicate dance for St. Helens High’s Savannah Manning: 2020 senior portraits," 15 June 2020 If all goes well, the two former No. 1 overall picks could become bookend edge-rushers for the Browns not only this season but for years to come. cleveland, "Browns talking Myles Garrett contract extension and possible Jadeveon Clowney signing with their agent Bus Cook," 13 June 2020 While Jalen Mayfield is a lock at one of the bookend spots, every other position is up for grabs. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football roundtable: Who'll start at QB? Will the offense take a step forward?," 7 June 2020 Anne Sraders The Bitcoin halving early this week was commemorated with a bleak but appropriate bookend. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Coinbase and the future of IPOs," 13 May 2020 The bookend to Little Richard's Arizona career came in Thanksgiving 2007 at an Arizona State football game. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "When Little Richard played with ASU marching band at Sun Devil Stadium," 13 May 2020 Higgins could grow into a dynamic player in Minnesota and make for a wonderful bookend with Adam Thielen. Arizona Republic, "Isaiah Simmons to Arizona Cardinals: NFL insider stays with Clemson LB in final mock draft," 22 Apr. 2020

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

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bookend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bookend


How to pronounce bookend (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bookend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bookend

Spanish Central: Translation of bookend

Nglish: Translation of bookend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bookend for Arabic Speakers

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