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book 1

a. A set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers.
b. An e-book or other electronic resource structured like a book.
a. A printed or written literary work: Did you ever finish writing that book?
b. A main division of a larger printed or written work: a book of the Old Testament.
a. A volume in which financial or business transactions are recorded.
b. books Financial or business records considered as a group: checked the expenditures on the books.
a. A libretto.
b. The script of a play.
5. Book
a. The Bible.
b. The Koran.
a. A set of prescribed standards or rules on which decisions are based: runs the company by the book.
b. Something regarded as a source of knowledge or understanding.
c. The total amount of experience, knowledge, understanding, and skill that can be used in solving a problem or performing a task: We used every trick in the book to finish the project on schedule.
d. Informal Factual information, especially of a private nature: What's the book on him?
7. A pack of like or similar items bound together: a book of matches.
8. A record of bets placed on a race.
9. Games The number of card tricks needed before any tricks can have scoring value, as the first six tricks taken by the declaring side in bridge.
v. booked, book·ing, books
a. To arrange for or purchase (tickets or lodgings, for example) in advance; reserve.
b. To arrange a reservation, as for a hotel room, for (someone): Book me into the best hotel in town.
c. To hire or engage: booked a band for Saturday night.
a. To list or register in a book: booked the revenue from last month's sales.
b. To list or record appointments or engagements in: A calendar that was booked solid on Tuesday.
c. To record information about (a suspected offender) after arrest in preparation for arraignment, usually including a criminal history search, fingerprinting, and photographing.
d. Sports To record the flagrant fouls of (a player) for possible disciplinary action, as in soccer.
3. To designate a time for; schedule: Let's book a meeting for next month.
4. To be hired for or engaged in: The actor has booked his next movie with that director.
To make a reservation: Book early if you want good seats.
1. Of or relating to knowledge learned from books rather than actual experience: has book smarts but not street smarts.
2. Appearing in a company's financial records: book profits.
bring to book
To demand an explanation from; call to account.
in (one's) book
In one's opinion: In my book they both are wrong.
like a book
Thoroughly; completely: I know my child like a book.
one for the books
A noteworthy act or occurrence.
throw the book at
1. To make all possible charges against (a lawbreaker, for example).
2. To reprimand or punish severely.

[Middle English bok, from Old English bōc; see bhāgo- in Indo-European roots.]

book′er n.
Synonyms: book, bespeak, engage, reserve
These verbs mean to cause something to be set aside in advance, as for one's use or possession: will book a hotel room; made sure their selections were bespoken; engaged a box for the opera season; reserving a table at a restaurant.
Word History: From an etymological perspective, book and beech are branches of the same tree. The Germanic root of both words is *bōk-, ultimately from an Indo-European root meaning "beech tree." The Old English form of book is bōc, from Germanic *bōk-ō, "written document, book." The Old English form of beech is bēce, from Germanic *bōk-jōn, "beech tree," because the early Germanic peoples used strips of beech wood to write on. A similar semantic development occurred in Latin. The Latin word for book is liber, whence library. Liber, however, originally meant "bark"—that is, the smooth inner bark of a tree, which the early Romans likewise used to write on.

book 2

intr.v. booked, book·ing, books
Informal To move or travel rapidly: We booked along at a nice clip.

[Perhaps shortening and alteration (influenced by book) of boogie.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a shortened or condensed form of a book, article, etc.
a supplement or appendix added to a book or other written work.
1. a commonplace book.
2. a miscellany, in published or other collected form.
bibliogony. — bibliogenetic, adj.
a person who possesses an encyclopedie knowledge of books and bibliography. — bibliognostic, adj.
the making of books; book production. Also bibliogenesis.
1. the science that studies the history of books, noting their physical description, publication, and editions.
2. a list of books on a particular subject or by a particular author.
3. a list of source materials used or consulted in the preparation of a work or referred to in the text. — bibliographer, n. — bibliographic, bibliographical, adj.
an abnormal compulsion to steal books. Cf. bibliomania. — biblioklept, n.
a person who is excessively fond of books. See also bible.
the worship of books, especially the Bible.
1. the history of books; bibliography.
2. the study of the doctrines of the Bible. — bibliologist, n.
a form of divination using books, especially the Bible, in which passages are chosen at random and the future foretold from them.
an excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books. — bibliomaniac, n.bibliomaniacal, adj.
the art of binding books. — bibliopegist, n. — bibliopegic. adj.
a bookworm (literally, ’bookeater’). — bibliophagy, n.bibliophagous, adj.
a love for books, especially for first or fine editions. — bibliophile, bibliophilist, n.bibliophilic, adj.
a person who fears and distrusts books.
an abnormal dislike for books.
the selling of books, especially rare or secondhand volumes. — bibliopole, bibliopolist, n.bibliopolic, adj.
the hoarding or hiding of books, often under lock and key. — bibliotaph. n.bibliotaphic, adj.
a librarian.
the therapeutic use of reading material in the treatment of nervous diseases. — bibliotherapist, n. — bibliotherapeutic, adj.
Catholicism. a book containing the prayers, lessons, etc., needed by a priest for the reading of his daily office.
1. a book containing charters.
2. the official in charge of such a book.
a miscellany of passages from an author or authors, sometimes assembled for teaching purposes.
1. an inscription, formerly at the end of a book but now usually on the title page, with information about the book’s publication and production.
2. an ornamental device or printer’s or publisher’s trademark.
encyclopedia. — cyclopedist, cyclopaedist, n. — cyclopedic, cyclopaedic, adj.
a book of passages from Greek and Latin authors, used for study.
a list of books sought by a collector or library.
the process of revision or editing books or other written material. — diaskeuast, n.
the lining of the covers of a book, often decorated, as with marbled papers, gold tooiing at the edges, etc.
the state of being notched at the edge or the process of notching at the edge, as some leaves or the page of a book, particularly a reference work with thumbindexing.
a handbook or manual.
a book or set of books containing detailed knowledge and information about a variety of fxelds or subfields; an exhaustive work of learning 01 knowledge. Also called cyclopedia, cyclopaedia. — encyclopedist, encyclopaedist, n.encyclopedie, encyclopaedic, encyclopedical, encyclopaedical, adj.
a book of etymologies; any treatise on the derivation of words.
the beginning or introductory part of a book or other printed work, or of a discourse.
an installment of a book or journal that is published in parts.
the numbering of leaves in a book, rather than pages.
any book of prescribed forms, as prayers, oaths, etc. See also drugs.
1. the augmentation of the illustrative material in a book by prints, sketches, and engravings not found in the original edition.
2. the mutilation of books to acquire extra illustrative materials. — grangerize, v.
any of the rare, early examples of movabletype editions printed in the last part of the 15th century, as Caxton’s editions of Chaucer and Malory. — incunabula, n. pl.incunabulist, n.incunabular, adj.
Archaic. a book illustrator or one who illuminates manuscripts.
notes written in the margins of a book, as by a student.
a varied collection, particularly a collection of literary works, extracts, fragments, etc., in book form. — miscellaneous, adj.
a book, treatise, or other written work of a scholarly nature dealing with one specific subject. Also, Rare. monography.monographer, n. — monographic, monographical, adj.
Obsolete, a list or glossary, arranged alphabetically, of the terms or words particular to any art or science or other special field or subject. Also nomenclature. See also classification; names.
1. the process of numbering the pages of a book.
2. the number and arrangement of pages, as might be noted in a bookseller’s catalogue.
a piece of parchment or vellum from which earlier writing has been erased or scraped off to allow for reuse. — palimpsestic, adj.
a supplement to a book or other work containing material previously omitted.
a list or directory of peers, usually with genealogies, as Burke’s Peerage.
a lover of books; bibliophile.
the use of photography as an aid to book description.
a book written in several languages. See also language. — polyglot, polyglottic, polyglottous, adj.
a preface, preamble, or brief introduction, as to a book or other work.
a preliminary rem ark or introduction, as to a speech; the foreword to a book or treatise. — prolegomenary, prolegomenous, adj.
1. the preparation of a work for publication, as by editing or revising.
2. a work so treated, an edited version. — redactor, n.redactorial, adj.
in the early days of printing, a capital letter, group of words, etc., printed in red or in decorative lettering; hence, a heading, title, or subtitle in a book or other printed work. — rubric, adj.rubricator, n.
a marginal note or comment, especially in an appendix, providing explanation of a Greek or Latin text. Also scholy. — scholiast, n.
a work containing all available versions and variants of a text to enable scholars to compare them and study the development of the work. — variorum, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. All the juice of a book is in an unpublished manuscript, and the published book is like a dead tree —just good for cutting up and building your house with —Christina Stead
  2. Bad books are like intoxicating drinks; they furnish neither nourishment, nor medicine —Tryon Edwards
  3. The Bible among books is as a diamond among precious stones —John Stoughton
  4. A book is a friend whose face is constantly changing —Andrew Lang
  5. A book is a mirror: if an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to look out —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  6. A book is like a garden carried in the pocket —Arab proverb
  7. A book, like a child, needs time to be born —Heinrich Heine
  8. A book, like a grape-vine, should have good fruit among its leaves —Edward Parsons Day
  9. A book, like a landscape, is a state of consciousness varying with readers —Ernest Dimnet
  10. A book may be as great a thing as a battle —Benjamin Disraeli
  11. Books are like individuals; you know at once if they are going to create a sense within the sense … or if they will merely leave you indifferent —George Moore
  12. Books … arranged carefully according to size, like schoolchildren lined up for recess —Helen Hudson
  13. Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen —Thomas Fuller
  14. Books, like men their authors, have no more than one way of coming into the world, but there are ten thousand to go out of it and return no more —Jonathan Swift
  15. Books like proverbs receive their value from the stamp and esteem of ages through which they have passed —Sir William Temple
  16. Books … as little read as tombstones —Frank Swinnerton
  17. The [thick] book was just like a warm, thick eiderdown that she could pull over herself, snuggle into —Alice Munro
  18. A book without an index is as incomplete as an eunuch —Theodore Stanton


  19. A classic … is a successful book that has survived the reaction of the next period or generation. Then it’s safe, like a style in architecture or furniture —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20. Dictionaries are like watches: the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true —Samuel Johnson
  21. Disliking a classic like disliking a nation one visits, it’s the result of a blind spot, which goes away and leaves one embarrassed —Edward Hoagland
  22. Each new book is as a ship that bears us away from the fixity of our limitations into the movement and splendor of life’s infinite ocean —Helen Keller
  23. Every book is like a purge, at the end of it one is empty … like a dry shell on the beach, waiting for the tide to come in again —Daphne du Maurier, Ladies Home Journal, November, 1956
  24. The harmonies of bound books are like the flowers of the field —Hilaire Belloc
  25. It is with books as with new acquaintances. At first we are highly delighted, if we find a general agreement … with closer acquaintances differences come to light; and then reasonable conduct mainly consists in not shrinking back at once —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  26. It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part —Voltaire
  27. Like the fortune teller who sees a long journey in the cards or death by water, they [books] influence the future —Graham Greene
  28. Most books, like their authors, are born to die —Joshua Swartz
  29. A new book, like a young man, has a reputation to acquire —Clarence Walworth
  30. A new book … not one of a number of similar objects, but like an individual man, unmatched —Marcel Proust
  31. Novels are useful as bibles, if they teach you the secret that the best of life is conversation and the greatest success is confidence —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  32. An old book, like an old man, is bound to have a good character already established, and must expect to be looked upon with suspicion if it has not —Clarence Walworth
  33. The reading of good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries —Rene Descartes
  34. A room without books is like a body without a soul —Cicero

    A twist to this, variously attributed to Hannah More and Henry Ward Beecher, is “A house without books is like a room without windows.”

    See Also: HOUSES

  35. Such books are like frowzy old broads who have been handled by a thousand men —Peter De Vries

    The books being compared to frowzy old broads are telephone directories in phone booths.

  36. There is no frigate like a book —Emily Dickinson

    Dickinson’s simile serves as both title and first line for one of her best known poems.

  37. Volumes [of books produced in America] by the dozens like doughnuts, big and soft and empty at the core —Helen Hudson
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He was still sleeping; so the curate asked the niece for the keys of the room where the books, the authors of all the mischief, were, and right willingly she gave them.
How (I thought to myself) am I to examine all these books? And what am I to look for, even if I do examine them all?
I was widening my knowledge of it helplessly and involuntarily, and I was always chancing upon some book that served this end among the great number of books that I read merely for my pleasure without any real result of the sort.
When we grew older, what happy hours did we not spend with our books. How the printed words made us forget the world in which we live, and carried us away to a wonderland,
Thus it was that we lunched together amid the books and birds, in an exquisite solitude a deux; for the ringer of the silver bell had disappeared, having left a dainty meal in readiness--for two.
Over and over again in my past experience among my perishing fellow-creatures, the members of the notoriously infidel profession of Medicine had stepped between me and my mission of mercy-- on the miserable pretence that the patient wanted quiet, and that the disturbing influence of all others which they most dreaded, was the influence of Miss Clack and her Books. Precisely the same blinded materialism (working treacherously behind my back) now sought to rob me of the only right of property that my poverty could claim--my right of spiritual property in my perishing aunt.
But he would not repeat the experiences of which I had been reading with rapture in his books. In vain I sought to hear of Typee and those paradise islands, but he preferred to pour forth his philosophy and his theories of life.
Sometimes he would even rush away to his room before school hours were over, and sit there for days over his books, of which he had a store that was both rare and valuable.
He knew her opinion of him, and would write, 'My ears tingled yesterday; I sair doubt she has been miscalling me again.' But the more she miscalled him the more he delighted in her, and she was informed of this, and at once said, 'The scoundrel!' If you would know what was his unpardonable crime, it was this: he wrote better books than mine.
A year ago he had finished his book, the fruit of six years' labor, "Sketch of a Survey of the Principles and Forms of Government in Europe and Russia." Several sections of this book and its introduction had appeared in periodical publications, and other parts had been read by Sergey Ivanovitch to persons of his circle, so that the leading ideas of the work could not be completely novel to the public.
If I could take it and use the material for a book I feel certain I could make the novel of the year out of it.
Every day he took a mysterious book out of his desk and absorbed himself in it at times when no classes were reciting.