\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

Essential Meaning of book

1 : a set of printed sheets of paper that are held together inside a cover : a long written work The shelves in his office are filled with books. That's one of the best books I've read in a long time. See More Examplesa novelist who has written some wonderful books a book about plumbing The library has many dictionaries and other reference books. a hardcover/paperback bookHide
2 : a long written work that can be read on a computer : e-book an electronic book
3 : a set of sheets of paper that are inside a cover and that you can write information on an appointment book an address book

Full 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 — see also cook the books
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 3b) 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.

Other Words from book


bookful \ ˈbu̇k-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce book (audio) \ noun


bookable \ ˈbu̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce book (audio) \ adjective, chiefly British
booker noun

Synonyms for book

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of book in a Sentence

Noun 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 Adjective His schooling provided him with extensive book knowledge. She had plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience. Verb 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For Vargas Llosa, that brush of possibility is the book’s animating spark. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 24 Nov. 2021 This is a book for novices and geeks interested in the significance of California through America’s wine history, from the swashbuckling era of Agoston Haraszthy through modern Napa’s cult cabernets and today’s despair over wildfires and drought. Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2021 The resulting essay, the book’s longest, was published this year in Harper’s Magazine. Martin Wolk, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 At what point did the book’s erotic undercurrent enter the picture? Liam Hess, Vogue, 23 Nov. 2021 The now-annual assault on Alabama’s passing/receiving record book continued Saturday night in the 42-35 win over Arkansas. Michael Casagrande |, al, 21 Nov. 2021 The book’s most famous passage appears in a letter contributed by the Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow. Melanie Kirkpatrick, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2021 Essentially, Ball’s book insists that Shane’s writing and the music of the Pogues is about the experience of being Irish in London, about exile, about longing for a mythical homeland that someone has taken from you. Caine O'rear, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2021 Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book of the same name, the series centers on David Stirling, an eccentric young officer, who is hospitalized after a training exercise gone wrong. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 15 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Simon & Schuster, which has a multi-book deal with New York Magazine, currently boasts best sellers including a Rupi Kaur collection and memoirs from Stanley Tucci and Tori Amos. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 2 Nov. 2021 At the heart of Herbert’s Dune series, a multi-book tale of space empires, sandworms, religious fervor, and political gamesmanship spanning centuries, was a simple observation: Great power comes with terrible burden. David Sims, The Atlantic, 21 Oct. 2021 The consolidation was mostly to cut down on non-book inventory like magazines, records, gifts and used DVDs, not because of pandemic distress. Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2021 Visitors must pre-book tickets and follow Covid-19 safety precautions. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 May 2021 Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, for example, signed an $8 million multi-book deal with Macmillan Publishers in 2017. Madeline Berg, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 Plan your parking: The MSP website allows travelers to pre-book parking in the Terminal 1 or 2 ramps. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021 There's an extra perk for spring break travelers: Through March 26, people who pre-book Terminal 1 daily parking will save $7 a day. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021 The seats are not available to pre-book and will only be made available at the airport check-in counter ahead of flight departure. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those hoping to spend the night might book a stay at the Landsby, a hygge-forward boutique hotel. Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2021 Here’s an idea: All ramen lovers should book reservations as soon as Noodle in a Haystack opens and leave very big tips. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Nov. 2021 Those looking to spend a bit more can book one of the $59 one-way deals from places like Newark to Orlando or Miami, Chicago to Austin, or Los Angeles to Colorado Springs. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 8 Nov. 2021 With winter on the horizon (and already here in some parts of North America), many travelers are already looking to book trips to warmer weather destinations. Rachel King, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2021 Those already based in Darwin will be able to book the nonstop 17 hour and 20 minute flight straight to London. Kaeli Conforti, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 As the latest wealthy entrepreneur to book passage to the International Space Station, Shoffner is scheduled to fly alongside veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in the second half of next year. Washington Post, 25 May 2021 Gilpin has had a fruitful career and continues to book jobs to this day. Jonathan Zeller, The New Yorker, 19 May 2021 Anyone interested in art and invention on two wheels now has a fine excuse to book a ticket to Dallas, great BBQ notwithstanding. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 18 May 2021

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.

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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

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English bōc; akin to Old High German buoh book, Goth boka letter

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Time Traveler for book

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near book



book account

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Statistics for book

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Book.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for book


\ ˈbu̇k How to pronounce book (audio) \

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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of book (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (an arrested person) undergo booking

More from Merriam-Webster on book

Nglish: Translation of book for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of book for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about book


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