pa·​per·​back | \ˈpā-pər-ˌbak \

Definition of paperback 

: a book with a flexible paper binding

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from paperback

paperback or less commonly paperbacked \ ˈpā-​pər-​ˌbakt \ adjective

Examples of paperback in a Sentence

The store sells both paperbacks and hardcovers. The book is sold only in paperback.

Recent Examples on the Web

Joyce Maynard’s latest book, The Best of Us, is out in paperback this month. Joyce Maynard, Vogue, "46 Years Ago, I Left Yale for J.D. Salinger—This Fall, I’m Returning," 13 Sep. 2018 Diedricksen's latest book, Microshelters: 59 Creative Cabins, Tiny Houses, Tree Houses, and Other Small Structures, publishes in paperback later this month. Maria Carter, Country Living, "Off-The-Grid Weekends Are Easy at This Author's Tiny "Glass House"," 4 Aug. 2015 The book comes out in paperback on Amazon April 10. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "PBS News Hour-New York Times chooses Dan Egan's 'The Death and Life of the Great Lakes' for its book club," 9 Apr. 2018 The Friends of the Bloomfield Public Libraries are having a one-day paperback sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Prosser Public Library, 1 Tunxis Ave. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 19 June 2018 Check this list before choosing your donation — books should be paperbacks and in good condition. Sadé Carpenter, RedEye Chicago, "Celebrate Women’s History Month with theater, cocktails and more events in Chicago," 8 Mar. 2018 Reality: In Paige’s living room, the sofa and chair looked onto a freestanding bookcase loaded with books (including old paperbacks), board games and a television. Marni Jameson,, "7 mistakes rookie DIY decorators make," 13 July 2018 So far, Biographies Vol. 2 has sold 71 Kindle copies and 55 paperbacks, which correlates to about $360 in royalties. Nicole Dieker, Longreads, "How the Self-Publishing Industry Changed, Between My First and Second Novels," 23 June 2018 Claire Dederer’s memoir Love and Trouble is newly out in paperback from Vintage Books. Claire Dederer, The Cut, "What I’d Like to Tell My New-Mom Self," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paperback.' 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 paperback

1843, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paperback

Dictionary Entries near paperback





paper-bag bush

paper bail


Statistics for paperback

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paperback

The first known use of paperback was in 1843

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for paperback



English Language Learners Definition of paperback

: a book that has a thick paper cover


pa·​per·​back | \ˈpā-pər-ˌbak \

Kids Definition of paperback

: a book with a flexible paper binding

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on paperback

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


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!