The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Book \Book\ (b[oo^]k), n. [OE. book, bok, AS. b[=o]c; akin to
Goth. b[=o]ka a letter, in pl. book, writing, Icel. b[=o]k,
Sw. bok, Dan. bog, OS. b[=o]k, D. boek, OHG. puoh, G. buch;
and fr. AS. b[=o]c, b[=e]ce, beech; because the ancient
Saxons and Germans in general wrote runes on pieces of
beechen board. Cf. Beech.]
1. A collection of sheets of paper, or similar material,
blank, written, or printed, bound together; commonly, many
folded and bound sheets containing continuous printing or
Note: When blank, it is called a blank book. When printed,
the term often distinguishes a bound volume, or a
volume of some size, from a pamphlet.
Note: It has been held that, under the copyright law, a book
is not necessarily a volume made of many sheets bound
together; it may be printed on a single sheet, as music
or a diagram of patterns. --Abbott.
2. A composition, written or printed; a treatise.
A good book is the precious life blood of a master
spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a
life beyond life. --Milton.
3. A part or subdivision of a treatise or literary work; as,
the tenth book of "Paradise Lost."
4. A volume or collection of sheets in which accounts are
kept; a register of debts and credits, receipts and
expenditures, etc.; -- often used in the plural; as, they
got a subpoena to examine our books.
Syn: ledger, leger, account book, book of account. [1913
Webster + WordNet 1.5]
5. Six tricks taken by one side, in the game of bridge or
whist, being the minimum number of tricks that must be
taken before any additional tricks are counted as part of
the score for that hand; in certain other games, two or
more corresponding cards, forming a set.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
6. (Drama) a written version of a play or other dramatic
composition; -- used in preparing for a performance.
Syn: script, playscript.
7. a set of paper objects (tickets, stamps, matches, checks
etc.) bound together by one edge, like a book; as, he
bought a book of stamps.
8. a book or list, actual or hypothetical, containing records
of the best performances in some endeavor; a recordbook;
-- used in the phrase
one for the book or
one for the books.
Syn: record, recordbook.
9. (Sport) the set of facts about an athlete's performance,
such as typical performance or playing habits or methods,
that are accumulated by potential opponents as an aid in
deciding how best to compete against that athlete; as, the
book on Ted Williams suggests pitching to him low and
10. (Finance) same as book value.
11. (Stock market) the list of current buy and sell orders
maintained by a stock market specialist.
12. (Commerce) the purchase orders still outstanding and
unfilled on a company's ledger; as, book to bill ratio.
Note: Book is used adjectively or as a part of many
compounds; as, book buyer, bookrack, book club, book
lore, book sale, book trade, memorandum book, cashbook.
Book account, an account or register of debt or credit in a
Book debt, a debt for items charged to the debtor by the
creditor in his book of accounts.
Book learning, learning acquired from books, as
distinguished from practical knowledge. "Neither does it
so much require book learning and scholarship, as good
natural sense, to distinguish true and false." --Burnet.
Book louse (Zool.), one of several species of minute,
wingless insects injurious to books and papers. They
belong to the Pseudoneuroptera.
Book moth (Zool.), the name of several species of moths,
the larv[ae] of which eat books.
Book oath, an oath made on The Book, or Bible.
The Book of Books, the Bible.
Book post, a system under which books, bulky manuscripts,
etc., may be transmitted by mail.
Book scorpion (Zool.), one of the false scorpions
(Chelifer cancroides) found among books and papers. It
can run sidewise and backward, and feeds on small insects.
Book stall, a stand or stall, often in the open air, for
Canonical books. See Canonical.
In one's books, in one's favor. "I was so much in his
books, that at his decease he left me his lamp."
To bring to book.
(a) To compel to give an account.
(b) To compare with an admitted authority. "To bring it
manifestly to book is impossible." --M. Arnold.
by the book, according to standard procedures; using the
correct or usual methods.
cook the books, make fallacious entries in or otherwise
manipulate a financial record book for fraudulent
To curse by bell, book, and candle. See under Bell.
To make book (Horse Racing), to conduct a business of
accepting or placing bets from others on horse races.
To make a book (Horse Racing), to lay bets (recorded in a
pocket book) against the success of every horse, so that
the bookmaker wins on all the unsuccessful horses and
loses only on the winning horse or horses.
off the books, not recorded in the official financial
records of a business; -- usually used of payments made in
cash to fraudulently avoid payment of taxes or of
one for the book, one for the books, something
extraordinary, such as a record-breaking performance or a
To speak by the book, to speak with minute exactness.
to throw the book at, to impose the maximum fine or penalty
for an offense; -- usually used of judges imposing
penalties for criminal acts.
(a) By memory.
(b) Without authority.
to write the book, to be the leading authority in a field;
-- usually used in the past tense; as, he's not just an
average expert, he wrote the book.
[1913 Webster +PJC]