[ book-mey-ker ]
/ ˈbʊkˌmeɪ kər /
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a person who makes a business of accepting the bets of others on the outcome of sports contests, especially of horse races.
a person who makes books.
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Origin of bookmaker

First recorded in 1375–1425, bookmaker is from the late Middle English word bokmakere.See book, maker


bookmaking, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does bookmaker mean?

A bookmaker is a person or institution whose business is accepting other people’s gambling bets, such as on sporting events.

A bookmaker is more commonly called a bookie, especially when it refers to a person. The word book in bookmaker refers to a record of bets.

The words bookie and bookmaker are sometimes associated with illegal betting operations, especially those run by organized crime groups. However, being a bookmaker can be done legally. Still, as modern sports betting becomes more widespread, sophisticated, and run by large businesses, the image of a bookmaker as a shady person writing down bets by hand in a book is likely on the decline.

The word bookmaker can also refer to a person or company that makes books.

Example: I got a hot tip on a horse—I better call my bookmaker!

Where does bookmaker come from?

The first records of the word bookmaker come from around 1400. The word book in bookmaker refers to a record of bets. The word maker is used in the same way in the related word oddsmaker.

A bookmaker is often also an oddsmaker—the person (or organization) that sets the odds for a particular contest. The bookmaker usually makes money by adding their profits into the odds of each bet.

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What are some synonyms for bookmaker?

What are some words that share a root or word element with bookmaker

What are some words that often get used in discussing bookmaker?

How is bookmaker used in real life?

Bookmaker is always used in the context of betting, whether legal or otherwise.


Try using bookmaker!

True or False? 

All bookmakers are criminals.

How to use bookmaker in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bookmaker

/ (ˈbʊkˌmeɪkə) /

a person who as an occupation accepts bets, esp on horseraces, and pays out to winning betters

Derived forms of bookmaker

bookmaking, 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