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text·​book ˈteks(t)-ˌbu̇k How to pronounce textbook (audio)
: a book used in the study of a subject: such as
: one containing a presentation of the principles of a subject
: a literary work relevant to the study of a subject


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: of, suggesting, or suitable to a textbook
especially : classic
a textbook example of bureaucratic waste

Examples of textbook in a Sentence

Noun one shelf in my bookcase is crammed full of my old college textbooks Adjective a textbook example of a film that captures the feel of the novel on which it is based
Recent Examples on the Web
There are actually an increasing number of prominent textbook examples. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 14 Feb. 2024 Her name is in three different math textbooks as being an editor. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 14 Feb. 2024 The spasm of consumer price increases that began in 2021 and ended in 2023 is a textbook example. George Calhoun, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The government has excised textbook chapters on India’s past Muslim rulers and silenced researchers who questioned pseudoscience being promoted by right-wing officials. Sameer Yasir, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2024 Many children will learn the Gettysburg Address along with other critical speeches scrawled in history textbooks. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Nearby, an English language textbook, bits of broken furniture and a pillow with floral embroidery are jumbled together in one large pile. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 The narrative of the United States of America that I was taught in textbooks is not real. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2024 Consult the economics textbooks, and the combined force of the worst inflationary wave since the 1980s and rapidly rising interest rates should have left the American economy looking worse for wear. Will Daniel, Fortune, 3 Feb. 2024
But for some of these patients, the cause of their seemingly textbook mental issues isn’t from an anomaly of brain chemistry or function, but from Lyme disease – the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 22 June 2022 Guyton, the second Black woman to host A Capitol Fourth after Vanessa Williams, recognizes that her own swift and dramatic rise to stardom after years of dues-paying and nearly quitting performing entirely is a textbook American success story. Scott Huver, PEOPLE.com, 1 July 2022 At the same time, solutions borrowed from textbook European nation-states are unlikely to serve us well. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 22 Sep. 2021 The vegan ramen was originally developed for Afuri’s Portland, Ore., location with the goal of being a lighter, decidedly non-textbook option. Flora Tsapovsky, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Sep. 2021 When she was discovered, her gender identity was conflated with her identity as a criminal, which is totally textbook. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 27 Aug. 2021 Having a bunch of Boomers in a closed environment for long periods of time isn’t exactly textbook social distancing. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 15 Mar. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'textbook.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1779, in the meaning defined above


1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of textbook was in 1779

Dictionary Entries Near textbook

Cite this Entry

“Textbook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/textbook. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a book used in the study of a subject

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