text·​book | \ ˈteks(t)-ˌbu̇k How to pronounce textbook (audio) \

Definition of textbook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a book used in the study of a subject: such as
a : one containing a presentation of the principles of a subject
b : a literary work relevant to the study of a subject



Definition of textbook (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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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: Noun It has been warped into bitter jingoism, the rough parts redacted, a textbook example of the way in which memory can be perverted in the name of politics. Sophie Pinkham, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Fukuyama made his diagnosis at a time when the United States under former president Donald Trump seemed the textbook example of pandemic management gone wrong. Washington Post, 3 May 2021 This is a plush, delicious, textbook example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that is a true crowd pleaser. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 In 1948, Samuelson published what might be the most celebrated economics textbook of all time. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 11 Mar. 2021 Johnson’s resounding win in December 2019 was a textbook example. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, 23 Feb. 2021 The cast then showed off photos of rehearsals while wear masks and an audience member reading a medical textbook. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 23 May 2021 One is that his team’s conquest of Miami in the first year that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces remains a textbook on NBA coaching. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 17 May 2021 There were only two books in his childhood home—a Bible and a world history textbook—but a job as a page in a library put literature into his eager grasp. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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

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


1779, in the meaning defined above


1905, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for textbook

Time Traveler

The first known use of textbook was in 1779

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Statistics for textbook

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Textbook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/textbook. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for textbook



English Language Learners Definition of textbook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a book about a particular subject that is used in the study of that subject especially in a school



English Language Learners Definition of textbook (Entry 2 of 2)

: very typical


text·​book | \ ˈtekst-ˌbu̇k How to pronounce textbook (audio) \

Kids Definition of textbook

: a book used in the study of a subject


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