Definition of copybook in English:



  • A book containing models of handwriting for learners to imitate.

    • ‘I remember writing on a slate and rubbing it off with a sponge, and learning to write using what was called a copybook.’
    • ‘However, so many handwriting copybooks offer boring, worn-out sayings that do not interest most children today!’
    • ‘Models are then provided for copying and developing in various ways: usually the teacher's own handwriting and specimens in copybooks.’
    • ‘The convent primary school in Cappamore is participating in recycling schoolbooks, copybooks, notepads and workbooks.’


  • [attributive] Exactly in accordance with established criteria; perfect.

    ‘it wasn't exactly a copybook landing’
    • ‘Eric McCormack and Andrew Byrne did most of the damage, scoring 0-10 between them but this was team football at its very best with the young lads in red and white playing copybook football.’
    • ‘It was a copybook move of pinpoint accuracy which saw Alan Stubbs spray the ball wide to Mark Patterson, whose near-post cross found the quicksilver Scot in a determined rush to open his account.’
    • ‘After a nap-hand return against Hartlepool, the Bars inflicted a copybook defeat on Sheffield Wednesday.’
    • ‘Winner of his last two starts, including one on this course, Colonel Frank is improving at a rapid rate of knots, as he proved at Wincanton recently when he gave a six-length beating to Orswell Crest after a copybook round of jumping.’
    • ‘But the return of new boy Simon Jones and Andrew Flintoff to the bowling crease found Agarkar changing gears, one searing cut shot and a series of copybook drives taking him to within earshot of senior partner VVS Laxman.’
    • ‘And when Young once again broke clear he was stopped dead in his tracks with a copybook Exley tackle.’
    • ‘Hill's back-row forwards Andy Warren and Jordan frustrated the Knights with their copybook cover tackling, and substitute prop Mark Chivers was a real handful when he entered the fray.’
    • ‘Tudhope described the refurbishment of the Halifax in the Strand as a copybook development, done in partnership with Kilmartin and again supported by the Bank of Scotland.’
    • ‘The capable Adrienne Foley gave Dellsboy a copybook drive to land the Walsh Engineering Ladies Handicap.’
    • ‘He cut inside but was halted by a copybook tackle from Elland full back Neil Walton.’
    • ‘Norman Williamson gave Golden Row a copybook drive to beat Say Again in the Carlsberg Lager Novice Chase.’
    • ‘Mike Rainey's conversion gave Hawks a seven points lead that should have been immediately increased when another Shaw/Henry move looked certain to produce a try in the corner before it came to grief on a copybook cover tackle by Callum.’
    • ‘This launched a small-scale fightback and a sizzling break by Aaron Cowie and a copybook final pass gave Duncan a run-in.’
    • ‘At the start, Barrichello had made a copybook getaway while his team-mate neatly steered left to block any chance of Sato coming through from the second row as the pack sprinted toward the first right-hander.’
    • ‘Favourite backers, however, will be hoping there are no dangers at all, and that the popular grey can produce another copybook performance.’
    • ‘The visitors played copybook football in the opening half and dominated in almost all sectors of the field.’
    • ‘As a result, the same building can, literally, be found in Melbourne, Perth or Denver as copybook designs proliferate due to a successful cost analysis.’
    • ‘A copybook tackle from Taylor forced Shaun Briscoe to cough up possession, giving Leigh position from where Rob Jackson could spin out of a couple of tackles to touchdown for a try goaled from the sideline by Owen.’
    perfect, without blemish, unblemished, unmarked, unimpaired
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