[pok-it-boo k]


a woman's purse or handbag.
a person's financial resources or means: The price was out of reach of his pocketbook.
Also pocket book. a book, usually paperback, that is small enough to carry in one's coat pocket.
  1. a notebook for carrying in one's pocket.
  2. a wallet or billfold.

Origin of pocketbook

First recorded in 1610–20; pocket + book
Can be confusedbriefcase handbag pocketbook purse valise wallet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pocketbook

Contemporary Examples of pocketbook

Historical Examples of pocketbook

  • She had seen the little roll of bills in her mother's pocketbook.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • Then he went deeper into his pocketbook and took out a small photograph.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • He delved for the pocketbook, opened it—and found no certificate therein.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He took out the pocketbook once more and from it extracted a two-dollar bill.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I don't remember how it came about or how the pocketbook and the pencil came into my hands.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for pocketbook


noun US and Canadian

a small bag or case for money, papers, etc, carried by a handle or in the pocket
(modifier) concerned with personal financepocketbook issues
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 pocketbook

also pocket-book, 1610s, originally a small book meant to be carried in one's pocket, from pocket (n.) + book (n.). Meaning "a booklike leather folder for papers, bills, etc." is from 1722. Meaning "a woman's purse" is from 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper