bring to book, to call to account; bring to justice: Someday he will be brought to book for his misdeeds.
    by the book, according to the correct or established form; in the usual manner: an unimaginative individual who does everything by the book.
    close the books, to balance accounts at the end of an accounting period; settle accounts.
    cook the books, Informal. cook1(def 12)
    in one's bad books, out of favor; disliked by someone: He's in the boss's bad books.
    in one's book, in one's personal judgment or opinion: In my book, he's not to be trusted.
    in one's good books, in favor; liked by someone.
    like a book, completely; thoroughly: She knew the area like a book.
    make book,
    1. to accept or place the bets of others, as on horse races, especially as a business.
    2. to wager; bet: You can make book on it that he won't arrive in time.
    off the books, done or performed for cash or without keeping full business records: especially as a way to avoid paying income tax, employment benefits, etc.: Much of his work as a night watchman is done off the books.
    one for the book/books, a noteworthy incident; something extraordinary: The daring rescue was one for the book.
    on the books, entered in a list or record: He claims to have graduated from Harvard, but his name is not on the books.
    throw the book at, Informal.
    1. to sentence (an offender, lawbreaker, etc.) to the maximum penalties for all charges against that person.
    2. to punish or chide severely.
    without book,
    1. from memory.
    2. without authority: to punish without book.
    write the book, to be the prototype, originator, leader, etc., of: So far as investment banking is concerned, they wrote the book.

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 formsbook·less, adjectivebook·like, adjectivepre·book, verbre·book, verbun·booked, adjective

Synonyms for book

Antonyms for book

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

Related Words for close the books


British Dictionary definitions for close the books



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 close the books



Old English boc "book, writing, written document," traditionally from Proto-Germanic *bokiz "beech" (cf. German Buch "book" Buche "beech;" see beech), the notion being of beechwood tablets on which runes were inscribed, but it may be from the tree itself (people still carve initials in them). The Old English word originally meant any written document. Latin and Sanskrit also have words for "writing" that are based on tree names ("birch" and "ash," respectively). Meaning "libretto of an opera" is from 1768. A betting book is from 1856.



Old English bocian "to grant or assign by charter," from book (n.). Meaning "to enter into a book, record" is early 13c. Meaning "to enter for a seat or place, issue (railway) tickets" is from 1841; "to engage a performer as a guest" is from 1872. Related: Booked; booking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with close the books

close the books

Stop financial transactions; end a matter. For example, The entire estate went at the auction, so we can close the books on it, or He was glad to close the books on this case.


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.