\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a set of written sheets of skin or paper or tablets of wood or ivory
b : a set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together between a front and back cover an address book
c : a long written or printed literary composition reading a good book reference books hardcover and paperback books
d : a major division of a treatise or literary work the books of the Bible
e accounting : a record of a business's financial transactions or financial condition often used in plural the books show a profit
g : e-book
2 capitalized : bible sense 1 put his hand on the Book and took the oath
3 : something that yields knowledge or understanding the great book of nature her face was an open book
4a(1) : the total available knowledge and experience that can be brought to bear on a task or problem tried every trick in the book
(2) : inside information or analysis the book on him is that he can't hit a curveball
b : the standards or authority relevant in a situation runs her business by the book
5a : all the charges that can be made against an accused person threw the book at him
b : a position from which one must answer for certain acts : account bring criminals to book
6a musical theater : libretto
b : the script of a play
c music : a book of arrangements for a musician or dance orchestra : musical repertory
7 : a packet of items bound together like a book a book of stamps a book of matches
8 gambling
a : bookmaker
b : the bets registered by a bookmaker also : the business or activity of giving odds (see odds sense 3b) and taking bets
9 card games : the number of tricks (see trick entry 1 sense 4) a cardplayer or side must win before any trick can have scoring value
in one's book
: in one's own opinion
in one's good books
: in favor with one getting back in his boss's good books
one for the book or one for the books
: an act or occurrence worth noting
on the books
: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books



Definition of book (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : derived from books (see book entry 1 sense 1) and not from practical experience book learning
2 accounting : shown by ledgers book assets


booked; booking; books

Definition of book (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to register (something, such as a name) for some future activity or condition (as to engage transportation or reserve lodgings) he was booked to sail on Monday
b : to schedule engagements for book the band for a week
c : to set aside time for booking a strategy meeting
d : to reserve in advance book two seats at the theater tried to make reservations, but they were all booked up
2a law enforcement : to enter charges against in a police register was booked on suspicion of murder
b of a referee : to note the name or number of (someone, such as a soccer player) for a serious infraction of the rules booking him for a late tackle

intransitive verb

1 : to make a reservation book through your travel agent
2 chiefly British : to register in a hotel usually used with in went to the hotel and booked in
3 slang : leave, go especially : to depart quickly We booked out of there.

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Other Words from book


bookful \ ˈbu̇k-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce book (audio) \ noun


bookable \ ˈbu̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce book (audio) \ adjective, chiefly British
booker noun

Synonyms for book

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of book in a Sentence

Noun The shelves in his office are filled with books. That's one of the best books I've read in a long time. a novelist who has written some wonderful books The library has many dictionaries and other reference books. the books of the Bible a story that is told in the Book of Job Adjective His schooling provided him with extensive book knowledge. She had plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience. Verb They booked two seats at the theater. They booked tickets for a direct flight from London to New York. I booked a table at our favorite restaurant. She booked through her travel agent. We will need to book early. She booked me on a flight from Oslo to Paris. He was booked to sail on Monday. The band was booked to play at the reception.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The author Hanif Abdurraqib wrote a moving essay about you in his new book called A Little Devil in America. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Merry Clayton on Her Hard-Won Comeback and How Faith Saved Her Life," 31 Mar. 2021 So far, the feedback on his new book has been nothing short of amazing. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Native son “wanders and wonders” in his new photo book," 31 Mar. 2021 It’s one of the first games to incorporate comic-book-like interludes in between its chapters — rudimentary cutscenes, essentially — which would be co-opted by every designer searching for the ideal way to spool out a narrative in a video game. Luke Winkie, Vulture, "The 20 Best Games on Nintendo Switch Online," 30 Mar. 2021 And if splurging a bit also has ripple effects of supporting our culinary scene and local food economy, in my book that’s money well spent. Tell Dana! Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Private dinners anyone? Why this new Louisville dining trend isn't just for the uber-rich," 30 Mar. 2021 The arrest, which occurred at the height of last year’s racial justice protests, opened a rift between Hood and Police Chief William McManus, who believed it was done by the book. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Secrecy over the city's review of possible bias within airport police 'gnaws' at councilwoman," 29 Mar. 2021 In other words, a time when audiences hadn’t yet been infantilized into a steady diet of comic-book escapism and supernatural fantasy. Washington Post, "Jessica Walter and George Segal personified a time when movies grew up," 26 Mar. 2021 Keith Simpson, who created a blue ceramic clock that sits over the fireplace, says his own 1-year-old son is fascinated by the book. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Step Into the Pages of ‘Goodnight Moon’ With This Enchanting Exhibition," 25 Mar. 2021 If typical vaccines are study guides given to students before big exams, therapeutic vaccines are a next-best resource—open-book tests. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Long-Haulers Are Pushing the Limits of COVID-19 Vaccines," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Plan your parking: The MSP website allows travelers to pre-book parking in the Terminal 1 or 2 ramps. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, "Spring break flight? Tips for saving cash, navigating MSP in a busy season," 5 Mar. 2021 There's an extra perk for spring break travelers: Through March 26, people who pre-book Terminal 1 daily parking will save $7 a day. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, "Spring break flight? Tips for saving cash, navigating MSP in a busy season," 5 Mar. 2021 The seats are not available to pre-book and will only be made available at the airport check-in counter ahead of flight departure. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Emirates Introduces $55 Option to Book Empty Seat Next to You," 1 Mar. 2021 The Broward County Public Library Foundation’s biggest event of the year is the Literary Feast, but the organization plans book events year-round. Oline H. Cogdill,, "December book events: Jewish humor, Mar-a-Lago history and hermit crab poetry," 25 Nov. 2019 Friends book sale The Friends of the Milpitas Library will host a book sale Sept. 27-29 in the library’s auditorium. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Milpitas community briefs for the week of Sept. 27," 23 Sep. 2019 Friends book sale The Friends of the Campbell Library’s monthly sale is set for Sept. 14 and features new and used fiction, nonfiction, history books, comics, art books, cookbooks, children’s books and collectibles. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Campbell community briefs for the week of Sept. 6," 6 Sep. 2019 As easy as book report research has become, don’t expect Google to give your child the full picture of adolescence. Washington Post, "How to talk to tweens about body odor (without making it awkward)," 25 July 2019 Friends book sale The Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library are holding a July 20 sale of thousands of books, movies and music CDs. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Sunnyvale community briefs for the week of July 19," 14 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On Wednesday, the Palm Beach County Healthcare District opened up its scheduling portal for people 18 and above to book an appointment for next week. Wells Dusenbury,, "If you’re 18 or older, here’s how you can sign up now for a vaccine appointment in Palm Beach County," 31 Mar. 2021 Now some of the women are eager to book a house for this fall. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Sibling feels steamrolled by brother’s disrespect, entitled behavior," 30 Mar. 2021 The county urged anyone who is eligible now to book an appointment as soon as possible to beat the coming rush. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, "Contra Costa County expects to offer vaccines to all 16 and up this week," 28 Mar. 2021 In December, hundreds of thousands tried to book scarce appointments for the shot in Orange County, which Monday saw a similar surge on the first day people 40 and older could receive the shot at the Convention Center. Kate Santich,, "All Florida adults are about to be eligible for vaccines. Are counties ready?," 26 Mar. 2021 No Southern California bias here, but go ahead and book the Aztecs for two weekends in Indy. Los Angeles Times, "NCAA tournament bracket picks: J. Brady McCollough’s prediction for every game," 16 Mar. 2021 My first step was to book a room at a world-class hotel, the Leela Palace Udaipur on Lake Pichola, which Travel + Leisure readers ranked as the best in the world in 2019. Nancy Lova, Travel + Leisure, "Can Black Travelers Find Themselves in India, Too?," 22 Jan. 2021 His first step was to book with a company that has a lenient cancellation policy. Christopher Elliott Columnist, Washington Post, "New ways to protect your 2021 vacation," 14 Oct. 2020 Rates to book out all 11 rooms, which sleeps up to 22 people, begin at $25,000, and for guests staying on their own, the single occupancy rate is the island's standard double occupancy rate minus 25%. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Vacation Like a Billionaire on Richard Branson’s Soon-to-open Second Private Island," 21 Mar. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1807, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for book

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English bōc; akin to Old High German buoh book, Goth boka letter

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Time Traveler for book

Time Traveler

The first known use of book was before the 12th century

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Statistics for book

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Book.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for book



English Language Learners Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a set of printed sheets of paper that are held together inside a cover : a long written work
: a long written work that can be read on a computer
: a set of sheets of paper that are inside a cover and that you can write information on



English Language Learners Definition of book (Entry 2 of 3)

: learned from reading books and not from experience



English Language Learners Definition of book (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make arrangements so that you will be able to use or have (something, such as a room, table, or seat) at a later time
: to make arrangements for (someone) to do, use, or have something at a later time
: to schedule a performance or appearance by (someone, such as a musician)


\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

Kids Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a set of sheets of paper bound together
2 : a long written work a book about birds
3 : a large division of a written work the books of the Bible
4 : a pack of small items bound together a book of matches
5 : the records of a business's accounts often used in pl. a credit on the books


booked; booking

Kids Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reserve for future use He booked rooms at the hotel.



Legal Definition of book

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a record of a business's financial transactions or financial condition often used in pl. the books show a profit
3 : the bets registered by a bookmaker also : the business or activity of giving odds and taking bets

Legal Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (an arrested person) undergo booking

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