1. (of a book) bound in a flexible paper cover: a paperback edition of Orwell's novel.
  2. of, for, or pertaining to paperbacks: a paperback bookstore.
Also softcover; pa·per·bound [pey-per-bound] /ˈpeɪ pərˌbaʊnd/, softbound (for defs 1, 2).
Compare hardcover.

Origin of paperback

First recorded in 1895–1900; paper + back1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for paperbound

Historical Examples of paperbound

  • Mrs. Owen rose and transferred a pile of paperbound books from a shelf to her desk.

    A Hoosier Chronicle

    Meredith Nicholson

British Dictionary definitions for paperbound


  1. a book or edition with covers made of flexible card, sold relatively cheaplyCompare hardback
adjective Also: paperbound, soft-cover
  1. of or denoting a paperback or publication of paperbacks
verb (tr)
  1. to publish in paperback
Derived Formspaperbacker, 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 paperbound



1899, from paper (n.) + back (n.). Adjective paper-backed attested from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper