[ book ]
See synonyms for: bookbookedbookingbooks on

  1. a handwritten or printed work of fiction or nonfiction, usually on sheets of paper fastened or bound together within covers.

  2. a work of fiction or nonfiction in an electronic format: Your child can listen to or read the book online.: See also e-book (def. 1).

  1. a number of sheets of blank or ruled paper bound together for writing, recording business transactions, etc.

  2. a division of a literary work, especially one of the larger divisions.

  3. the Book, the Bible.

  4. Music. the text or libretto of an opera, operetta, or musical.

  5. Jazz. the total repertoire of a band.

  6. a script or story for a play.

  7. a record of bets, as on a horse race.

  8. Cards. the number of basic tricks or cards that must be taken before any trick or card counts in the score.

  9. a set or packet of tickets, checks, stamps, matches, etc., bound together like a book.

  10. anything that serves for the recording of facts or events: The petrified tree was a book of Nature.

  11. Sports. a collection of facts and information about the usual playing habits, weaknesses, methods, etc., of an opposing team or player, especially in baseball: The White Sox book on Mickey Mantle cautioned pitchers to keep the ball fast and high.

  12. Stock Exchange.

    • the customers served by each registered representative in a brokerage house.

    • a loose-leaf binder kept by a specialist to record orders to buy and sell stock at specified prices.

  13. a pile or package of leaves, as of tobacco.

  14. Mineralogy. a thick block or crystal of mica.

  15. a magazine: used especially in magazine publishing.

  16. the book,

    • a set of rules, conventions, or standards: The solution was not according to the book but it served the purpose.

    • the telephone book: I've looked him up, but he's not in the book.

verb (used with object)
  1. to enter in a book or list; record; register.

  2. to reserve or make a reservation for (a hotel room, passage on a ship, etc.): We booked a table at our favorite restaurant.

  1. to register or list (a person) for a place, transportation, appointment, etc.: The travel agent booked us for next week's cruise.

  2. to engage for one or more performances.

  3. to enter an official charge against (an arrested suspect) on a police register.

  4. to act as a bookmaker for (a bettor, bet, or sum of money): The Philadelphia syndicate books 25 million dollars a year on horse racing.

verb (used without object)
  1. to register one's name.

  2. to engage a place, services, etc.

  1. Slang.

    • to study hard, as a student before an exam: He left the party early to book.

    • to leave; depart: I'm bored with this party, let's book.

    • to work as a bookmaker: He started a restaurant with money he got from booking.

  1. of or relating to a book or books: the book department;a book salesman.

  2. derived or learned from or based on books: a book knowledge of sailing.

  1. shown by a book of account: The firm's book profit was $53,680.

Verb Phrases
  1. book in, to sign in, as at a job.

  2. book out, to sign out, as at a job.

  1. book up, to sell out in advance: The hotel is booked up for the Christmas holidays.

Idioms about book

  1. book it, Slang. See entry at book it.

  2. bring to book, to call to account; bring to justice: Someday he will be brought to book for his misdeeds.

  1. by the book, according to the correct or established form; in the usual manner: an unimaginative individual who does everything by the book.

  2. close the books, to balance accounts at the end of an accounting period; settle accounts.

  3. cook the books, Informal. cook1 (def. 13)

  4. in one's bad books, out of favor; disliked by someone: He's in the boss's bad books.

  5. in one's book, in one's personal judgment or opinion: In my book, he's not to be trusted.

  6. in one's good books, in favor; liked by someone.

  7. like a book, completely; thoroughly: She knew the area like a book.

  8. make book,

    • to accept or place the bets of others, as on horse races, especially as a business.

    • to wager; bet: You can make book on it that he won't arrive in time.

  9. 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.

  10. one for the book / books, a noteworthy incident; something extraordinary: The daring rescue was one for the book.

  11. on the books, entered in a list or record: He claims to have graduated from Harvard, but his name is not on the books.

  12. throw the book at, Informal.

    • to sentence (an offender, lawbreaker, etc.) to the maximum penalties for all charges against that person.

    • to punish or chide severely.

  13. without book,

    • from memory.

    • without authority: to punish without book.

  14. 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

First recorded 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

Other words for book

Opposites for book

Other words from book

  • book·less, adjective
  • book·like, adjective
  • pre·book, verb
  • re·book, verb
  • un·booked, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use book in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for book


/ (bʊk) /

  1. a number of printed or written pages bound together along one edge and usually protected by thick paper or stiff pasteboard covers: See also hardback, paperback

    • a written work or composition, such as a novel, technical manual, or dictionary

    • (as modifier): the book trade; book reviews

    • (in combination): bookseller; bookshop; bookshelf; bookrack

  1. a number of blank or ruled sheets of paper bound together, used to record lessons, keep accounts, etc

  2. (plural) a record of the transactions of a business or society

  3. the script of a play or the libretto of an opera, musical, etc

  4. a major division of a written composition, as of a long novel or of the Bible

  5. a number of tickets, sheets, stamps, etc, fastened together along one edge

  6. bookmaking a record of the bets made on a horse race or other event

  7. (in card games) the number of tricks that must be taken by a side or player before any trick has a scoring value: in bridge, six of the 13 tricks form the book

  8. strict or rigid regulations, rules, or standards (esp in the phrases according to the book, by the book)

  9. a source of knowledge or authority: the book of life

  10. a telephone directory (in the phrase in the book)

  11. the book (sometimes capital) the Bible

  12. an open book a person or subject that is thoroughly understood

  13. a closed book a person or subject that is unknown or beyond comprehension: chemistry is a closed book to him

  14. bring to book to reprimand or require (someone) to give an explanation of his conduct

  15. close the book on to bring to a definite end: we have closed the book on apartheid

  16. close the books accounting to balance accounts in order to prepare a statement or report

  17. cook the books informal to make fraudulent alterations to business or other accounts

  18. in my book according to my view of things

  19. in someone's bad books regarded by someone with disfavour

  20. in someone's good books regarded by someone with favour

  21. keep the books to keep written records of the finances of a business or other enterprise

  22. on the books

    • enrolled as a member

    • registered or recorded

  23. read someone like a book to understand a person, or his motives, character, etc, thoroughly and clearly

  24. throw the book at

    • to charge with every relevant offence

    • to inflict the most severe punishment on

  1. to reserve (a place, passage, etc) or engage the services of (a performer, driver, etc) in advance: to book a flight; to book a band

  2. (tr) to take the name and address of (a person guilty of a minor offence) with a view to bringing a prosecution: he was booked for ignoring a traffic signal

  1. (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

  2. (tr) archaic to record in a book

Origin of 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.