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 scene and another set in an interior bookend the film. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2022 Drapery panels designed for fullness bookend the upholstered headboard. Sarah Wolf Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 May 2022 One of our favorite holidays is the bookend to this fabulous time of year. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, 17 Aug. 2022 Live entertainment will take place throughout the day on the two bookend stages at the eastern and western ends of the festival area. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 14 June 2022 Those are the bookend ages of the oldest Home Run Derby participant, Albert Pujols, and the second-youngest winner, Juan Soto. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Also showing up beautifully on KFSD is the descending rear-inflow jet and re-intensifying bookend vortex. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 5 July 2022 Thomas also finished ranked among the top 20, giving the Seminoles a bookend pair that accounted for 18.5 of the team’s 33 quarterback sacks. Matt Murschel,, 25 Feb. 2022 The bookend appearances of DeSantis and Trump -- from the opening act to the prime-time headliner -- shine an even brighter light on the relationship between the governor and the former President. Steve Contorno And Jeff Zeleny, CNN, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bookend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for bookend


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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