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bookish

[boo k-ish]
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adjective
  1. given or devoted to reading or study.
  2. more acquainted with books than with real life.
  3. of or relating to books; literary.
  4. stilted; pedantic.

Origin of bookish

First recorded in 1560–70; book + -ish1
Related formsbook·ish·ly, adverbbook·ish·ness, nounnon·book·ish, adjectivenon·book·ish·ly, adverbnon·book·ish·ness, nouno·ver·book·ish, adjectiveo·ver·book·ish·ly, adverbo·ver·book·ish·ness, nounun·book·ish, adjectiveun·book·ish·ly, adverbun·book·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms

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4. academic, scholastic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bookish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In a paper on his books, it is permissible to end with a bookish anecdote.

  • I had not dared to look into her eyes, as I talked meaningless, bookish words.

  • He's vulgar and hysterical and bookish, but don't think that sums him up.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • No one pretends that Patrick Henry ever became a bookish person.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

  • Your minds are not your own, but the patches of other people's bookish duds.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro


British Dictionary definitions for bookish

bookish

adjective
  1. fond of reading; studious
  2. consisting of or forming opinions or attitudes through reading rather than direct personal experience; academica bookish view of life
  3. of or relating to booksa bookish career in publishing
Derived Formsbookishly, adverbbookishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bookish

adj.

1560s, "literary," from book (n.) + -ish. In sense of "overly studious" it is recorded from 1590s. Related: Bookishly; bookishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper