\ 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: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books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 By the time the book was published last year, Youssef had served his term and been set free. The Economist, "France worries about how to handle released terrorists," 8 May 2021 Why insist on anonymity for the account, and the book? Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, "From ‘Briexit’ to ‘Background Checks’, This New Book Decodes the Lingo of Britain’s Upper Classes," 6 May 2021 In that sense, the book’s title makes for an instructive play on words. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Where Malcolm X meets the Marquis de Sade: Olivia Laing’s intense new essays on freedom," 6 May 2021 Longer, healthier lifespans are also playing a role, says Jocelyn Elise Crowley, professor of public policy at Rutgers University and author of a book on gray divorce. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce Highlights Rise of Older-Age Splits," 5 May 2021 At its core, travel has always been an escape from everyday life, whether you're getting lost in a book on a tropical beach or roaming the streets of a foreign city. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, "Staycations Are a Helpful Way to Deal With Pandemic Burnout — and They Might Be Here to Stay," 2 May 2021 The book on Jones begins with football IQ, which by the way had a lot to do with his off-the-charts, 77% completion-rate accuracy. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Mac Jones is perfect fit with Bill Belichick and the Patriot Way, but don't start Tom Brady comparisons," 30 Apr. 2021 But Professor Dan Hicks, curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford and author of a book on the Benin Bronzes, believes the declaration is a step forward. CNN, "Germany to return looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria," 29 Apr. 2021 The homer closed the book on Pérez, whose best outing of the season was obscured by its disappointing conclusion., "Quiet bats, defensive lapses doom Red Sox in Arlington opener against Rangers," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, for example, signed an $8 million multi-book deal with Macmillan Publishers in 2017. Madeline Berg, Forbes, "The Political Memoir Payouts Continue: How Mike Pence’s Multimillion-Dollar Book Deal About Trump Years Stacks Up," 9 Apr. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To make an appointment at one of these clinics, or to book a time slot with another vaccine provider, visit or call 907-646-3322. Anchorage Daily News, "Vaccine clinics are popping up at malls, sports venues and other locales in Anchorage, Wasilla and Fairbanks this weekend," 8 May 2021 The old system encouraged companies to book profits abroad and leave them there. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Biden Tax Plan Takes Aim at Trump-Era Investment Incentive," 7 May 2021 Passengers who book a Galapagos vacation package with a cruise and land-based journeys will also get free airfare from the U.S. or Canada for trips from July through December 31, 2023. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Celebrity Cruises Is Headed Back to the Galapagos This Summer — and Airfare Is Free," 6 May 2021 The lockdown delayed that plan, but by the time PS Classics could safely book a studio again, in August, Luker could no longer sing. New York Times, "With Her Final Album, Rebecca Luker Bids a Fond Farewell," 2 May 2021 In Delhi, even today, most laboratories do not ask those who book a test for their vaccination status. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, "India’s Covid-19 vaccine program has glaring data and communication issues," 28 Apr. 2021 Get into this nail game, sis, and book your new nail technician now! Essence, "Black Girl Nail Techs Slaying The Nail Game," 20 Apr. 2021 The families or other nonprofits fund travel expenses, but Paz Amigos helps book the trips. Nick Wooten, ajc, "COVID changed everything for Georgia group helping migrants," 18 Apr. 2021 Consumers book the cars through Turo’s smartphone app, which directs them to their location in Orlando’s airport terminals. Ron Hurtibise,, "Good luck finding a cheap rental car. A shortage is driving up prices.," 17 Apr. 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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Book.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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