\ˈbu̇k \

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

f : magazine sense 1a

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 4b) 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: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books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 \ noun


bookable \ˈbu̇-kə-bəl \ adjective chiefly British
booker noun

Synonyms for book

Synonyms: Noun

tome, volume

Synonyms: Verb

bespeak, reserve

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Examples of book in a Sentence


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


His schooling provided him with extensive book knowledge. She had plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience.


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

Plus, for every piece of jewelry sold, AUrate will give a book to a child in need., "Affordable & Ethically Sourced Diamonds You Can Try Before You Buy," 13 July 2018 All participants will receive a book published by the Arthritis Foundation and a T-shirt upon completion. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Sunrise area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 The production team even set up a fake Amazon listing for a book supposedly authored by Cain. Jean Bentley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?': All the Details (So Far) About the Showtime Comedy," 13 July 2018 The head chef at Cake in Cherry Hill, O’Donnell has been volunteering with Edible Alphabet from the beginning, and helped to develop the curriculum, /// a recipe book which each class follows week by week. Anya Van Wagtendonk,, "For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand," 12 July 2018 In Posturing, a new book by Self Publish Be Happy, 21 contemporary fashion photographers use the body in a variety of forms to create spreads that are modern, daring, and whimsically bizarre. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "Celebrating the Body As a Fashion Oddity," 11 July 2018 In addition to Bareilles’ music and lyrics, the show features a book by Jessie Nelson, choreography by Lorin Latarro, and direction from Tony Award winner Diane Paulus. Dave Quinn,, "Scandal's Katie Lowes and Husband Adam Shapiro Will Costar in Broadway's Waitress," 11 July 2018 Theres was looking to create a documentary about World War I and found a 2017 book written by Elizabeth Cobbs about the Hello Girls. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin documentarian sparks effort to honor World War I female phone operators with Congressional Gold Medal," 10 July 2018 Robert Straley contributed to a book that chronicled the abuse of young boys at the juvenile justice facility known as Dozier. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A victim of vile abuse at Florida reform school, he spent his life fighting for justice," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But even before all that leakage started, the Thrones fandom (especially book readers) have wondered for years if an ice dragon would finally appear. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Why Game of Thrones Fans Saw That Hideous Dragon Twist Coming," 20 Aug. 2017 But even before all that leakage started, the Thrones fandom (especially book readers) have wondered for years if an ice dragon would finally appear. Joanna Robinson,, "Why Game of Thrones Fans Saw That Hideous Dragon Twist Coming," 20 Aug. 2017 But the deal could help American capture more traffic between the United States and China through arrangements like code sharing, an industry term for a partnership that allows two airlines to more easily book passengers on each other’s flights. Neil Gough, New York Times, "American Airlines Buys China Southern Stake as Traffic Booms," 27 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As staff at the Atchison county jail tried to finish booking her, Fowler fought again, Laurie told MSC News. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "It took a Taser to arrest a kicking, scratching, biting councilwoman, Kansas cops say," 6 July 2018 San Antonio police detectives nabbed Kino Jimenez, 30, without incident in nearby Universal City, Texas and booked him on a theft of person charge, according to the police department. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "Suspect arrested after viral video shows teen attacked for wearing MAGA hat," 6 July 2018 Brazil booked themselves a place in the World Cup's quarter-final stage by beating Mexico on Tuesday and are now set to test themselves against Belgium's Red Devils., "PHOTO: Douglas Costa Returns to Full Training For Brazil Ahead of Quarter-Final Clash With Belgium," 3 July 2018 Parents who aren’t an easy drive from camp sometimes book themselves into nearby accommodations — and at Rainbow Ridge Farms in Onalaska, there’s a B&B. At all of the camps, there’s time with the animals — a big draw for many of the children. Anne Schamberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Farming out the kids: Gathering eggs, milking cows, cooking teach about country life," 3 July 2018 Grab your passport and get ready to book yourself some adventure! Princess Cruises, Bon Appetit, "Set Sail for Adventure This Holiday Season," 2 July 2018 Szostek was medically cleared at Porter Regional Hospital before police booked him into Porter County Jail. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Hobart man stole phone from car in sheriff's parking lot while turning himself in on separate warrant: police," 28 June 2018 How to book it for less than coach: United Airlines Inc. Fortune, "How to Fly the World’s Best Business Class for Less Than Coach," 26 June 2018 Daenerys Targaryen—booked it back to Ireland to say her final farewell to Thrones‘ most prominent filming location. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Try Not to Get Emotional About Emilia Clarke's Official Goodbye to Game of Thrones," 18 June 2018

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


Middle English, from Old English bōc; akin to Old High German buoh book, Goth boka letter


see book entry 1


see book entry 1

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Statistics for book

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for book

The first known use of book was before the 12th century

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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 \

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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Comments on book

What made you want to look up book? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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