bookend

noun
book·​end | \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend \

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

bookend

verb
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

The team’s second-worst pick provided an apt bookend to its successful pharmaceutical selection. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Who Won Heard on the Street’s Stock-Picking Contest? No One, Really," 24 Dec. 2018 As the bookend to his year-long collaboration with MAC, Slay Ride also signifies the completion of an experience that Starrr treasured as both the definitive face of men in makeup and a former MAC sales associate. Sandra Song, Teen Vogue, "Patrick Starrr on His Holiday MAC Collaboration, Makeup Shaming, and Inclusivity in the Beauty World," 23 Dec. 2018 Matt Wargo/Courtesy of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc. Robert Venturi’s passing yesterday at age 93 bookends the life of an extraordinarily influential architect and scholar. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Masterpieces of Robert Venturi, a postmodern architecture icon," 20 Sep. 2018 The next morning, an apt bookend to our stay at Casadonna was a rainbow of fresh fruit juices along with a mountain of traditional pastries and breads. Daria Di Lello, Vogue, "Finding Serenity—and Forest-Grown Truffles—in the Mountains of Abruzzo, Italy," 23 Nov. 2018 Whether or not successful, the deal likely will provide a bookend to Ms. Rometty’s continuing struggle to breathe new life into the 107-year-old company. Jay Greene, WSJ, "IBM’s Rometty Bets Her Legacy on Red Hat Deal," 29 Oct. 2018 Whether or not a tornado was confirmed, this intense northern bookend along the fierce line of storms took its toll. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Monday’s nasty line of storms wasn’t quite a derecho, but was impressive by many measures," 15 May 2018 Armed with Tinker Toys and roughly 10 minutes to work, Drew and Jonathan were challenged to build the coolest, most creative bookends possible. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Weigh In: Which Property Brother Builds The Better Bookends?," 10 Oct. 2018 This account is based on interviews with people involved in and familiar with the discussions and negotiations that stretched between Mr. Musk’s first tweets and a blog post late Friday night that put a bookend on the deal. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Public Bravado, Private Doubts: Inside the Unraveling of Elon Musk’s Tesla Buyout," 27 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of bookend

Noun

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1956, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bookend

Statistics for bookend

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bookend

The first known use of bookend was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bookend

bookend

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bookend

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

bookend

noun
book·​end | \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend \

Kids Definition of bookend

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on bookend

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

WORD OF THE DAY

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!