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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English book, from Old English bōc(a book, a document, register, catalog, a legal document, a bill of divorce, a charter, a title deed, conveyance, a volume, literary work, pages, main division of a work), from Proto-Germanic *bōks(beech, book), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂ǵos(beech).

The sense development of beech to book is explained by the fact that smooth gray beech bark was commonly used as bookfell.[1]


A hard-cover book

book ‎(plural books)

  1. A collection of sheets of paper bound together to hinge at one edge, containing printed or written material, pictures, etc.
    She opened the book to page 37 and began to read aloud.
    He was frustrated because he couldn't find anything about dinosaurs in the book.
  2. A long work fit for publication, typically prose, such as a novel or textbook, and typically published as such a bound collection of sheets.
    I have three copies of his first book.
  3. A major division of a long work.
    Genesis is the first book of the Bible.
    Many readers find the first book of A Tale of Two Cities to be confusing.
  4. (gambling) A record of betting (from the use of a notebook to record what each person has bet).
    I'm running a book on who is going to win the race.
  5. A convenient collection, in a form resembling a book, of small paper items for individual use.
    a book of stamps
    a book of raffle tickets
  6. (theater) The script of a musical.
  7. (usually in the plural) Records of the accounts of a business.
  8. A long document stored (as data) that is or will become a book; an e-book.
  9. (law) A colloquial reference to a book award, a recognition for receiving the highest grade in a class (traditionally an actual book, but recently more likely a letter or certificate acknowledging the achievement).
  10. (whist) Six tricks taken by one side.
  11. (poker slang) four of a kind[2]
  12. (sports) A document, held by the referee, of the incidents happened in the game.
  13. (sports, by extension) A list of all players who have been booked (received a warning) in a game.
    • 2011 March 2, Andy Campbell, “Celtic 1 - 0 Rangers”, in BBC[1]:
      Celtic captain Scott Brown joined team-mate Majstorovic in the book and Rangers' John Fleck was also shown a yellow card as an ill-tempered half drew to a close.
  • (bound paper sheets containing writing): See Wikisaurus:book
  • (convenient collection of small paper items, such as stamps): booklet
  • (major division of a published work, larger than a chapter): tome, volume
  • (script of a musical): libretto
  • (records of the accounts of a business): accounts, records
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • Chichewa: buku
  • Hawaiian: puke
  • Malagasy: boky
  • Shona: bhuku
  • Somali: buugga
  • Sotho: buka (note: also possibly from Afrikaans boek)
  • Zulu: ibhuku (note: also possibly from Afrikaans boek)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
See also[edit]


book ‎(third-person singular simple present books, present participle booking, simple past and past participle booked)

  1. (transitive) To reserve (something) for future use.
    I want to book a hotel room for tomorrow night
    I can book tickets for the concert next week.
  2. (transitive) To write down, to register or record in a book or as in a book.
    They booked that message from the hill
  3. (law enforcement, transitive) To record the name and other details of a suspected offender and the offence for later judicial action.
    The police booked him for driving too fast.
  4. (sports) To issue with a caution, usually a yellow card, or a red card if a yellow card has already been issued.
  5. (intransitive, slang) To travel very fast.
    He was really booking, until he passed the speed trap.
  6. To record bets as bookmaker.
  7. (transitive, law student slang) To receive the highest grade in a class.
    The top three students had a bet on which one was going to book their intellectual property class.
  8. (intransitive, slang) To leave.
    He was here earlier, but he booked.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English book, from Old English bōc, first and third person singular preterite of bacan(to bake), from Proto-Germanic *bakaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₃g-.



  1. (Britain dialectal, Northern England) simple past tense of bake


Most common English words before 1923: taking · information · seem · #468: book · story · deep · meet



  1. ^ J.P. Mallory, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, s.v. "beech" (London: Fitroy-Dearborn, 1997), 58.
  2. ^ Weisenberg, Michael (2000) The Official Dictionary of Poker. MGI/Mike Caro University. ISBN 978-1880069523



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book n

  1. book

Middle English[edit]


From Old English bōc.


book (plural books)

  1. Alternative form of booke