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



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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 As a bookish, brunette teenager, Rory Gilmore was my idol. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'Gilmore Girls' turns 20: What I learned re-watching the beloved series as an adult," 5 Oct. 2020 Michael Benjamin Washington lends bookish Bernard a poignant dignity as the character shrugs off a battery of racist put-downs. Charles Mcnulty, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Parsons heads cast of Netflix’s solid remake of gay classic ‘The Boys in the Band’," 30 Sep. 2020 Here’s a roundup of how libraries and other bookish organizations are helping both locals and travelers read out the pandemic this fall. National Geographic, "How libraries are writing a new chapter during the pandemic," 26 Sep. 2020 This was the hero piece that truly drove Hadid’s bookish outfit home. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Rides a Revel Scooter In a Sweater Vest (and Helmet)," 22 Sep. 2020 Some, like Walter Tse, a bookish architecture student, had been arrested during the protests and faced numerous charges. Timothy Mclaughlin, Wired, "Hong Kong Is a Troubling Case Study in the Death of Democracy," 17 Sep. 2020 Where Aldred Leith meets a young, bookish girl, falls in love, and eventually travels half the world to reunite with her, Hazzard’s real family stayed in New Zealand for two years, and her jilted love never progressed beyond passionate letters. Lauren Oyler, Harper's Magazine, "Le Mot Juste," 15 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, the bookish Adler did his best to stay out of the limelight and steer clear of the controversy. Peter Manseau, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible," 8 Sep. 2020 Shop below for our favorite styles to bring your best bookish look straight into fall. Julia Gall, Marie Claire, "Chanel Unveils an Online Optical Boutique," 20 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bookish

Time Traveler

The first known use of bookish was in 1542

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Statistics for bookish

Last Updated

8 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bookish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for bookish


How to pronounce bookish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bookish

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bookish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bookish

Nglish: Translation of bookish for Spanish Speakers

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