Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
: by following the official rules very strictly
My boss insists on doing everything by the book.
Share by the book
Resources for by the book
From the Editors at Merriam-Webster
7 Shakespearean Insults to Make Life...
One for each day of the week
by the boatload
by the book
by the count of
by the day
by the hand
More from Merriam-Webster on by the book
Nglish: Translation of by the book for Spanish Speakers
Comments on by the book
What made you want to look up by the book? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to clear from alleged fault or guilt
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Difficult Vocab Quiz
Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
This is just to say / Don't confuse them
What exactly is the 'it' being sufficed?
Taking a usage peeve to task
You can't shut them up, but you can label them
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Another round of challenging vocab!
(Secret October WOTD Quiz)
SCRABBLE® fans, sharpen your skills!