Nearby words

  1. boogieman,
  2. boohai,
  3. boohoo,
  4. boojie,
  5. boojum tree,
  6. book bag,
  7. book burning,
  8. book club,
  9. book clubs,
  10. book end

Idioms

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


British Dictionary definitions for by the book

book

/ (bʊk) /

noun

verb


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 by the book
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for by the book

by the book

According to established rules: “The inspector will be visiting the factory today, so let's make sure we do everything by the book.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with by the book

by the book

Strictly according to the rules, as in Our trip leader is going by the book, allowing us to wander off only for short periods. Shakespeare already used the term figuratively in Romeo and Juliet (1:5): “You kiss by the book.” Also see by the numbers.

book

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.