1

bookend

noun book·end \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of bookend

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

Examples of bookend in a Sentence

  1. a pair of bookends shaped like horses

  2. He used an empty flowerpot as a bookend.

Recent Examples of bookend from the Web

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

See Words from the same year
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2

bookend

verb

Definition of bookend

bookended; bookending
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
2 a : 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

First Known Use of bookend

1956

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

BOOKEND Defined for Kids

bookend

noun book·end \ ˈbu̇k-ˌend \

Definition of bookend for Students

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


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