bookish

adjective
book·​ish | \ ˈbu̇-kish How to pronounce bookish (audio) \

Definition of bookish

1a : of or relating to books
b : fond of books and reading
2a : inclined to rely on book knowledge
b of words : literary and formal as opposed to colloquial and informal
c : given to literary or scholarly pursuits also : affectedly learned

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Other Words from bookish

bookishly adverb
bookishness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bookish

Synonyms

erudite, learned, literary

Antonyms

colloquial, nonliterary, unbookish

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Examples of bookish in a Sentence

Their teacher was a bookish fellow. “fealty” is a bookish synonym for “loyalty”

Recent Examples on the Web

For the bookish Bäumer the finest thing that arose out of the war—and could never be belittled—was comradeship. Tobias Grey, WSJ, "An Antiwar Classic That Knew No Borders," 7 Dec. 2018 Encouraged by a bookish mother who brought home magazines and newspapers, my dream of becoming a writer started during my childhood in the mid-’70s. Michael Gonzales, Longreads, "It’s Like That: The Makings of a Hip-Hop Writer," 10 June 2019 As kids, Jo is the bookish tomboy and Bethie the feminine good girl. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "5 books not to miss: 'Recursion' by Blake Crouch, Weiner's 'Mrs. Everything,' 'Islanders'," 8 June 2019 These are the things that make up a bookish life, and in his essays and reviews Zambra captures them with a combination of (seemingly) offhand casualness and authority. Andrew Martin, The New York Review of Books, "A More Personal Chile," 7 Mar. 2019 Dating a young, bookish, almost painfully socially conscious Barack Obama (in her hilarious telling), whom she was asked to mentor at that law firm, Obama started to see there was more to life. Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times, "‘Who are you becoming?’ Why America needs Michelle Obama’s message now," 25 Mar. 2019 Ditto Camila Mendes, since the teenage Hermione looks kind of bookish and shy. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "See the Riverdale Cast Playing Their Parents In The Halloween Flashback Episode," 18 Oct. 2018 Until this afternoon, Kavanaugh had struck, many who watched him, as bookish and academic, the classic temperament of a federal judge. Fox News, "Brit Hume on fallout from Kavanaugh hearing; Alan Dershowitz on Rachel Mitchell's performance," 28 Sep. 2018 He was known to be intelligent and bookish—constantly reading a novel. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Airplane Stunt Startles Onlookers, Ends Tragically," 12 Aug. 2018

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

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Statistics for bookish

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bookish

The first known use of bookish was in 1542

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More Definitions for bookish

bookish

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of bookish

sometimes disapproving : more interested in reading books and studying than doing more physical activities (such as sports)

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More from Merriam-Webster on bookish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bookish

Spanish Central: Translation of bookish

Nglish: Translation of bookish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bookish

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