Definition of bookend in English:



  • A support placed at the end of a row of books to keep them upright, typically forming one of a pair.

    • ‘Youth and age, it seems, are the bookends of life.’
    • ‘It operates much like a simple metal bookend where the book itself prevents the end from sliding or flipping.’
    • ‘On the wall above the window ran a short bookshelf, where lack of space had forced Wilhelm and me to jam all of our old books between two brass bookends.’
    • ‘She's as strong and likable a female character as Davy is a male hero, making this a perfect bookend to book one.’
    • ‘I like to show the bookends - the setting up and the waiting.’
    • ‘I suggested Ludendorf and Doenitz as a pair of handy bookends.’
    • ‘After all, I do have lots of books, and I do need bookends.’
    • ‘Imagine a bookshelf with a pair of bookends, representing women novelists who have grown up in the British Commonwealth and written bestsellers.’
    • ‘You assess your life, as death and birth as bookends, and you exist only between the bookends.’
    • ‘Katherine desired to have them pushing together like bookends with the women in-between as the books.’
    • ‘The history of the 20th century is bracketed - like bookends - by Lenin and Stalin at the start, Reagan and Thatcher at the end.’
    • ‘It provided the closing bookend for the project with the beginning bookend being the ending of the Cold War.’
    • ‘Conceptually, it makes a neat bookend to their 15-year career.’
    • ‘Jasmine had also done him in with a pair of heavy bookends.’
    • ‘People buy old-fashioned irons not to iron their clothes with, but to use as bookends or doorstops.’
    • ‘On the window ledge oak bookends supported a small library.’
    • ‘There are angel bookends, guardian angel lapel pins and ceramic candle-holder angels.’
    • ‘The two gruesome gargoyle bookends are based on the watchful pair who overlook the St Magnus Cathedral west door, gazing out over Broad Street.’
    • ‘While I collect bookends, a friend of mine collects classical LPs and CDs.’
    • ‘If tackles are the bookends of the offensive line, the Eagles could support a shelf of coffee table books.’


[with object]informal
  • Be positioned at the end or on either side of (something)

    ‘the narrative is bookended by a pair of incisive essays’
    • ‘Apocalyptic thunderstorms bookend the show, the first one orphaning a distinctly strange group of kids.’
    • ‘They propose bookending the movie with scenes of another character in whose imagination all of the violence and disruption of social order take place.’
    • ‘They've also discovered the power of strings, bookending the album with sparse, poignant chamber quartet arrangements.’
    • ‘For St Johnstone, that would have bookended the game nicely, after they opened the scoring in just four minutes.’
    • ‘The excised footage is bookended by black-and-white versions of the scenes surrounding the cut, which is a nice touch.’
    • ‘The album is bookended on the other side by two versions of Slagger, a twisted groove topped by an unhinged rap.’
    • ‘The stories bookending the collection capture her preoccupations.’
    • ‘The spare production consists only of a white oval platform bookended by two revolving white walls.’
    • ‘The chapters by Carlos Santos, which bookend the novel, cushion the violent undercurrents.’
    • ‘Very crudely speaking, these two artefacts bookend the period of Babylonian supremacy in Mesopotamia.’
    • ‘The recording is bookended nicely by tracks of contrasting character.’
    • ‘It's not all bad, though - in fact, the album is bookended by two of its best tracks.’
    • ‘The DVD version edits each campaign into a movie version with only a single credit sequence bookending the story.’
    • ‘I was in Rome in March and again in May, bookending a stay of several weeks in the south of Italy and in that most Catholic of countries, Malta.’
    • ‘I shared his space, with each of our contributions bookending the central articles of this magazine.’
    • ‘But even with full freedom of expression, you were still forced to remove the documentary footage that bookended the film.’
    • ‘Two shows, both alike in style, are bookending the coming week at Epsom Playhouse, starting with a one-man show and ending with a solo female play.’
    • ‘Brahms bookended the concert with the first of the op. 120 sonatas in F minor.’
    • ‘The movie is bookended by two hard-working but listless sea battles.’
    • ‘The story is bookended by a red-robed monk reminiscing about his youth.’