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[boo k-mey-ker]
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  1. a person who makes a business of accepting the bets of others on the outcome of sports contests, especially of horse races.
  2. 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
Related formsbook·mak·ing, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bookmaker


  1. a person who as an occupation accepts bets, esp on horseraces, and pays out to winning betters
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Derived Formsbookmaking, 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 bookmaker


also book-maker, 1510s, "printer and binder of books," from book (n.) + agent noun from make (v.). The wagering sense is from 1862. Related: Book-making (late 15c., betting sense 1824).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper