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 And the author of the textbook Principles of Economics that everyone uses in their introductory courses in college. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "The monetary theory revolution will not be televised," 11 June 2020 To identify the microorganisms, Prakash refers to a famous textbook on marine invertebrates, Animals Without Backbones, which was co-written by Vicki Pearse and her husband, John, another famous marine biologist. Emily Underwood, The Atlantic, "The Search for the World’s Simplest Animal," 8 June 2020 The textbook case was the Saturday Night Massacre, when Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned rather than carry out President Richard Nixon’s order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr’s Invisible Crusade," 8 June 2020 Oswald did shoot Kennedy from a textbook warehouse before being arrested in a movie theater. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: A 1964 conspiracy theory misrepresents Lincoln and Kennedy's similarities," 7 June 2020 For one, the textbook combination of identification, isolation and quarantine for contacts helped stop the potential spread of coronavirus an Air Force basic training camp. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Coronavirus cases rise in US south and west as crowded protests spark worries," 3 June 2020 New discoveries can necessitate revision of the textbooks. John A. Long, Scientific American, "How a 380-Million-Year-Old Fish Gave Us Fingers," 20 May 2020 Daniels also addressed complaints from students and faculty about the price of textbooks. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "The College President Who Simply Won’t Raise Tuition," 7 Apr. 2020 The board also adopts the state’s standards of learning, called the course of study, for each subject area, including a list of textbooks local schools can use. al, "Alabama to vote on whether to fire the state school board. Here are the facts.," 17 Feb. 2020 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, "With prestige and contract bonuses on the line, why did the NCAA choose to not create March Madness brackets?," 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

21 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Textbook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/textbook. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for textbook


How to pronounce textbook (audio)

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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