\ 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: on the records outdated laws that are still on the books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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The fact remains that in viewing such laws as unconstitutional, Judge Kavanaugh would overturn the will of the people and prevent states like Connecticut from having commonsense laws on the books to stop gun violence and save lives,’’ Maloney said. Daniela Altimari,, "Democrats Rally Against Brett Kavanaugh Nomination," 13 July 2018 Within six months, 16 different North Dakota entries had been recorded in the book, Lerner said. J. Harry Jones,, "Small Valley Center history museum draws big crowds," 13 July 2018 In 1967 British biologist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Medawar famously characterized science as, in book title form, The Art of the Soluble. Michael Shermer, Scientific American, "Will Science Ever Solve the Mysteries of Consciousness, Free Will and God?," 13 July 2018 Fire departments across the state now must file a standard operating procedure for gear cleaning annually with the commission in Austin, instead of merely being required to have a policy on the books. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Amid probe of HFD, Texas fire commission adopts stricter rule on gear cleaning," 13 July 2018 In the annals of great players in Red Wings history, his name already is in the books. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Should Detroit Red Wings retire Sergei Fedorov's No. 91? It's time.," 12 July 2018 In the book, author Tyson wrote that Donham told him her testimony about Till accosting her wasn't true. Jay Reeves, Anchorage Daily News, "‘New information’ prompts US to reopen investigation of brutal 1955 slaying of black teen," 12 July 2018 One item is a children’s book by American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell that appears intended to promote xenophobia. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Sold Books, Backpacks, and Toys Promoting Hate to Kids, Report Shows," 7 July 2018 These and hundreds of other candid portraits of wild animals in Wisconsin are worthy of publication in a book. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Snapshot Wisconsin trail cam project poised to go statewide," 6 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

Jail records show Adamson was booked in Ben’s death on Saturday, two days after Ben’s body was found. Adam Carlson,, "Teen Murder Suspect Seemingly Posted About His Missing Friend on Facebook Before Body Was Found," 5 July 2018 The question is complicated because other options were booked by outdoor enthusiasts months ago. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Hikers headed to flood-closed Havasupai Falls scramble to make other plans," 13 July 2018 In one instance, the agency booked a one-way flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C., costing $121,500, $45,671 more than another charter option available, the report said. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "HHS Watchdog Pushes to Recoup $341,000 Wasted by Ex-Secretary Price on Travel," 13 July 2018 That means some flights booked for fall travel could be canceled or shifted to smaller planes. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Delta to trim growth plans for flights this fall," 13 July 2018 The 51-year-old actress was in Russia on Tuesday to support her soccer player boyfriend Adil Rami, 32, as France booked their spot in the 2018 World Cup final against Croatia. Ale Russian,, "Is Pamela Anderson Engaged? Actress Seen with Large Ring as She Supports Boyfriend at World Cup," 12 July 2018 Travel booked through Rising Star will automatically sync up for teams using Artist Growth, decreasing repetitive manual data entry and saving time. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Artist Growth Integrates With Rising Star Travel to Streamline Tour Scheduling," 12 July 2018 Norton said the 1,400-seat event space has booked multiple acts, including comedians Ken Jeong, Dennis Miller and Dane Cook and ’90s acts Salt-N-Pepa and Vanilla Ice. Meredith Cohn,, "The Live Hotel, attached to the Live Casino, marks its grand opening," 11 July 2018 The space agency has put the satellite into a form of hibernation until August 2, when there’s time booked on the Deep Space Network—a global array of receivers for space missions—to download data from its 18th observational mission. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Stream: Kepler Telescope to Send NASA Its Last Images," 7 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about book

Statistics for book

Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for book

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!