book·​ie ˈbu̇-kē How to pronounce bookie (audio)
plural bookies
: a person who determines gambling odds and receives and pays off bets : bookmaker
The "line"—the Vikings over the Giants by four points, for example—establishes the point spread that the bookie believes will attract gamblers in equal numbers to each side of the bet.Jack El-Hai
Funnily enough, I was never anxious to win one of these bets. I didn't want to collect from the bookie on any of them.Art Buchwald

Examples of bookie in a Sentence

Their bookie is giving good odds.
Recent Examples on the Web Some may be veterans, used to placing bets with a local bookie. Ryan D'agostino, Men's Health, 22 Aug. 2023 Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson Like Hoad, Althea was easily the favorite among bookies and pundits. Sally H. Jacobs, Town & Country, 15 Aug. 2023 And although the odds seem to be with Zuckerberg according to bookies, Musk’s former partner, whose real name is Claire Boucher, hopes the event will help the two titans respect each other more. Byeleanor Pringle, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2023 How to be a Bookie revolves around a veteran bookie who struggles to survive the impending legalization of sports gambling, increasingly unstable clients, family, co-workers and a lifestyle that bounces him around every corner of Los Angeles, high and low. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Oct. 2022 Back then, it was known as Al’s Bar B-Q and acted as a front for their bookie business which has long since closed. Ximena N. Beltran Quan Kiu, Bon Appétit, 16 June 2023 In an era where betting is the rage, there’s probably a bookie somewhere who will offer an over/under on the number of times fans at home will be treated to the replay of Tiger Woods rolling in a putt on the final hole to force a playoff at Torrey Pines in 2008. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 17 June 2021 The Celtics, the bookies’ favorites, made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, and stormed back from being down three games to none, only to lose a Game 7 at the Garden in ignominious fashion, turning in a real stinker. Globe Columnist,, 13 June 2023 The bookies’ favourite was Sweden, represented by Eurovision superstar Loreen and her extraordinary nail extensions. Mike McCahill, Variety, 14 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bookie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by shortening & alteration

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bookie was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near bookie

Cite this Entry

“Bookie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Legal Definition


book·​ie ˈbu̇-kē How to pronounce bookie (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on bookie

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