Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


1. Given to, characterized by, or resulting from the habitual reading of books; studious.
2. Relying chiefly on book learning rather than practical experience; impractical or unworldly: a scholarly but not bookish instructor.
3. Literary, formal, or erudite. Used of language.

book′ish·ly adv.
book′ish·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bookishness - exaggerated studiousness
studiousness - diligent study
References in classic literature ?
But that did not trouble me: I knew, I felt that I should be understood and that this very bookishness might be an assistance.
The co-existence of the plot-driven paragraphs with erudite analogies in the novel does not come across as contrived or pretentious, as the bookishness of the narrator--a writer and writing teacher herself--justifies her resorting to knowledge at the time of emotional upheaval.
medical schools rationalized their objections to the admission of Jewish students on the grounds of proportional representation as well as the classic anti-Semitic canards of Jewish defensiveness, bookishness, poor manual dexterity, and avarice.
This conscious bookishness (what Mani's calls a "pact with books"), and its overtly cosmopolitan commitments offer rich materials for the attempt to chronicle world literature as a print-cultural phenomenon.
Unlike the novels Pressman studies, the projects I have considered do not experiment with bookishness or printedness for fear of the "death of the book" or magazine; their aim is not to inject "vigor" into the print medium in order to "remain innovative.
That was the book that first stirred Keith's latent bookishness and since Robert Westall was born on Tyneside (at North Shields in 1929) it's appropriate that Keith will be appearing at Books on Tyne.
Books, not toys, were my first favorites, and I owe some of my adult bookishness to the Torah.
He still jots down notes on the small notebook he constantly carries to all of his home visit sessions-which sustains the bookishness or nerdiness in his projection.
On the very first page, for example, Lindop draws a line between Williams's poor eyesight in early childhood and his later bookishness.
Conversely, in "The Tables Turned," Wordsworth offers a playful complementary critique of the perils of bookishness and too much study through the character of Matthew.
Though my path to the craft was circuitous, I have no doubt that, in some essential way, my bookishness, my reverence for authors, my deep love of languages, and even my desire to be a writer came from my father.
The girls on the Gucci catwalk embraced their bookishness with pussy-bow blouses, knitted beanies and prim glasses.