[boo k-ing]


a contract, engagement, or scheduled performance of a professional entertainer.
the act of a person who books.

Nearby words

  1. booked up,
  2. bookend,
  3. booker,
  4. booker prize,
  5. bookie,
  6. booking agent,
  7. booking clerk,
  8. booking office,
  9. bookish,
  10. bookishly

Origin of booking

First recorded in 1635–45; book + -ing1




a handwritten or printed work of fiction or nonfiction, usually on sheets of paper fastened or bound together within covers.
a work of fiction or nonfiction in an electronic format: Your child can listen to or read the book online.See also e-book(def 1).
a number of sheets of blank or ruled paper bound together for writing, recording business transactions, etc.
a division of a literary work, especially one of the larger divisions.
the Book, the Bible.
Music. the text or libretto of an opera, operetta, or musical.
Jazz. the total repertoire of a band.
a script or story for a play.
a record of bets, as on a horse race.
Cards. the number of basic tricks or cards that must be taken before any trick or card counts in the score.
a set or packet of tickets, checks, stamps, matches, etc., bound together like a book.
anything that serves for the recording of facts or events: The petrified tree was a book of Nature.
Sports. a collection of facts and information about the usual playing habits, weaknesses, methods, etc., of an opposing team or player, especially in baseball: The White Sox book on Mickey Mantle cautioned pitchers to keep the ball fast and high.
Stock Exchange.
  1. the customers served by each registered representative in a brokerage house.
  2. a loose-leaf binder kept by a specialist to record orders to buy and sell stock at specified prices.
a pile or package of leaves, as of tobacco.
Mineralogy. a thick block or crystal of mica.
a magazine: used especially in magazine publishing.
the book,
  1. a set of rules, conventions, or standards: The solution was not according to the book but it served the purpose.
  2. the telephone book: I've looked him up, but he's not in the book.

verb (used with object)

to enter in a book or list; record; register.
to reserve or make a reservation for (a hotel room, passage on a ship, etc.): We booked a table at our favorite restaurant.
to register or list (a person) for a place, transportation, appointment, etc.: The travel agent booked us for next week's cruise.
to engage for one or more performances.
to enter an official charge against (an arrested suspect) on a police register.
to act as a bookmaker for (a bettor, bet, or sum of money): The Philadelphia syndicate books 25 million dollars a year on horse racing.

verb (used without object)

to register one's name.
to engage a place, services, etc.
  1. to study hard, as a student before an exam: He left the party early to book.
  2. to leave; depart: I'm bored with this party, let's book.
  3. to work as a bookmaker: He started a restaurant with money he got from booking.


of or relating to a book or books: the book department; a book salesman.
derived or learned from or based on books: a book knowledge of sailing.
shown by a book of account: The firm's book profit was $53,680.

Verb Phrases

book in, to sign in, as at a job.
book out, to sign out, as at a job.
book up, to sell out in advance: The hotel is booked up for the Christmas holidays.

Origin of book

before 900; Middle English, Old English bōc; cognate with Dutch boek, Old Norse bōk, German Buch; akin to Gothic boka letter (of the alphabet) and not of known relation to beech, as is often assumed

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for booking

British Dictionary definitions for booking



mainly British
  1. a reservation, as of a table or room in a hotel, seat in a theatre, or seat on a train, aircraft, etc
  2. (as modifier)the booking office at a railway station
theatre an engagement for the services of an actor or acting company



a number of printed or written pages bound together along one edge and usually protected by thick paper or stiff pasteboard coversSee also hardback, paperback
  1. a written work or composition, such as a novel, technical manual, or dictionary
  2. (as modifier)the book trade; book reviews
  3. (in combination)bookseller; bookshop; bookshelf; bookrack
a number of blank or ruled sheets of paper bound together, used to record lessons, keep accounts, etc
(plural) a record of the transactions of a business or society
the script of a play or the libretto of an opera, musical, etc
a major division of a written composition, as of a long novel or of the Bible
a number of tickets, sheets, stamps, etc, fastened together along one edge
bookmaking a record of the bets made on a horse race or other event
(in card games) the number of tricks that must be taken by a side or player before any trick has a scoring valuein bridge, six of the 13 tricks form the book
strict or rigid regulations, rules, or standards (esp in the phrases according to the book, by the book)
a source of knowledge or authoritythe book of life
a telephone directory (in the phrase in the book)
the book (sometimes capital) the Bible
an open book a person or subject that is thoroughly understood
a closed book a person or subject that is unknown or beyond comprehensionchemistry is a closed book to him
bring to book to reprimand or require (someone) to give an explanation of his conduct
close the book on to bring to a definite endwe have closed the book on apartheid
close the books accounting to balance accounts in order to prepare a statement or report
cook the books informal to make fraudulent alterations to business or other accounts
in my book according to my view of things
in someone's bad books regarded by someone with disfavour
in someone's good books regarded by someone with favour
keep the books to keep written records of the finances of a business or other enterprise
on the books
  1. enrolled as a member
  2. registered or recorded
read someone like a book to understand a person, or his motives, character, etc, thoroughly and clearly
throw the book at
  1. to charge with every relevant offence
  2. to inflict the most severe punishment on


to reserve (a place, passage, etc) or engage the services of (a performer, driver, etc) in advanceto book a flight; to book a band
(tr) to take the name and address of (a person guilty of a minor offence) with a view to bringing a prosecutionhe was booked for ignoring a traffic signal
(tr) (of a football referee) to take the name of (a player) who grossly infringes the rules while playing, two such acts resulting in the player's dismissal from the field
(tr) archaic to record in a book

Word Origin for book

Old English bōc; related to Old Norse bōk, Old High German buoh book, Gothic bōka letter; see beech (the bark of which was used as a writing surface)

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 booking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with booking


see balance the books; black book; bring to book; by the book; closed book; close the books; cook the books; crack a book; hit the books; in one's book; in someone's bad graces (books); judge a book by its cover; know like a book; make book; nose in a book; one for the books; open book; take a leaf out of someone's book; throw the book at; wrote the book on.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.