View synonyms for bookish


[ book-ish ]


  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.

    Synonyms: scholastic, academic


/ ˈbʊkɪʃ /


  1. fond of reading; studious
  2. consisting of or forming opinions or attitudes through reading rather than direct personal experience; academic

    a bookish view of life

  3. of or relating to books

    a bookish career in publishing

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Derived Forms

  • ˈbookishness, noun
  • ˈbookishly, adverb
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Other Words From

  • bookish·ly adverb
  • bookish·ness noun
  • non·bookish adjective
  • non·bookish·ly adverb
  • non·bookish·ness noun
  • over·bookish adjective
  • over·bookish·ly adverb
  • over·bookish·ness noun
  • un·bookish adjective
  • un·bookish·ly adverb
  • un·bookish·ness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of bookish1

First recorded in 1560–70; book + -ish 1
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Example Sentences

When I couldn’t think of anything to say, I wrote notes furiously and perfected what I hoped was a bookish and curious presence in the hopes that people would assume my head was full of insightful observations rather than abject fear.

From Quartz

Keith said she was “really cute” and looked “bookish” in her glasses.

A popular athlete and a bookish social pariah start a secret relationship while in high school, then float in and out of each other’s lives as they journey into adulthood.

Born in 1903 in the tiny dusty colonial outpost of Pietersburg, in northern South Africa, Plomer was bookish and reclusive.

From Ozy

Here at last was a home for the nerdy, the bookish, the hypercompetent others.

Aloof and bookish, Pius XI (Achille Ratti) spent years as a Vatican librarian before becoming a diplomat and cardinal.

Margot, three years older than Anne, was quiet and bookish but still a part of things.

Poet Jackie Kay said of the nominees, “It is a sad day when even the Booker is afraid to be bookish.”

Especially when you look at the other side of the bracket and see bookish James Thurber.

Great new novels on hippie California, a bookish adventure, and the gritty Midwest.

Technical words and bookish terms are not words of national use.

It all came back in cash to the working man; and yet it was my own pals who had rebuked me for being too bookish.

I envy you the acquaintance of a genuine non-bookish man like Captain Speke.

It was only geography that morning, any way: and the practical thing was worth any quantity of bookish theoric.

He seemingly was a bookish young man who would probably enjoy hunting a Greek verb to its lair.


Related Words




book intobook it