Definition of book in English:



  • 1A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.

    ‘a book of selected poems’
    ‘a book on cats’
    [as modifier] ‘a book report’
    • ‘I opened a book and quickly skimmed information about the first World War.’
    • ‘Solving an author's puzzles can be one of the most rewarding things about cracking open a book.’
    • ‘The first work of mine to be published in a book wasn't a short story or a novel.’
    • ‘Anthologies of writing and small art books will be available for sale online.’
    • ‘You can do so by reading books and informing yourself, which is an aspect that should not be overlooked.’
    • ‘At any rate, objectivity should be the guiding factor while writing history books, past or present.’
    • ‘It's pretty sad, actually… most of my friends haven't opened a book for pleasure in years.’
    • ‘Rosie bought me the DVD along with a book on philosophy.’
    • ‘So he launched a new company which packaged the software in paperback book format and charged lower prices.’
    • ‘If one opens the book at random, it is this multitude of references that catches the eye.’
    • ‘When he retired he wrote a book on medical science for lay people and prospective doctors.’
    • ‘After some serious research he wrote a book on the subject, Ancient Mosaics in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘I was a bit discouraged with the rest of the book after such a wonderful introduction.’
    • ‘Modern books and CDs are often shoddy objects, victims of corporate economies.’
    • ‘She pictures a woman lying gloomily on the couch reading a book about Maria Callas.’
    • ‘I sat there a while longer, staring down at the vellum pages of the book on the low desk before me.’
    • ‘He cherished some lovely old books containing the folk songs and traditional ballads of our land.’
    • ‘He didn't want to get in more trouble, and just opened a book, trying to concentrate and read it silently.’
    • ‘I get up and stretch out my stiff muscles and take the bookmark and put it in the book on the page I was reading.’
    • ‘The council said there will also be an extra £100,000 for the library book fund.’
    • ‘The resource books provided are well recognized as being excellent in their area.’
    volume, tome, work, printed work, publication, title, opus, treatise
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A literary composition that is published or intended for publication as a book.
      ‘the book is set in the 1940s’
      ‘I'm writing a book’
      • ‘The book, published in an edition of 6,000 copies on 19 December, sold out in a few days.’
      • ‘Merely getting books published serves little purpose if no one reads them.’
      • ‘I wrote my first book on spec, sent it off to nearly 100 publishers and in six weeks I had my first offer.’
      • ‘Another, working on a novel for young adults, already has books published in that field.’
      • ‘He likes classical music and books about people who die and come back to life.’
      • ‘Henry Miller had published seventeen books when he sent out an appeal to all his friends to help him out.’
      • ‘He has claimed that he never wanted to be a novelist despite the fact the he has published so many books.’
      • ‘I love mixing genres, writing essays and kids' books and short stories as well as poems.’
      • ‘I used to do photography seriously, and even wrote a book on photography in schools back in the seventies.’
      • ‘As the publication dates indicate these books are not the fruit of deep or new research.’
      • ‘The firm continued to publish books, and there was talk of opening a bookshop.’
      • ‘His drawings are also found in travel books and the stories of operas by Richard Wagner.’
      • ‘Writing books about how to make a fortune on the Internet seems like a great method.’
      • ‘He had just published a book of his life story, and it had become a best seller.’
      • ‘Second, don't open a book with a prologue, because you're wasting time.’
      • ‘Who is it that decides which novels, biographies, poetry and children's books do get published?’
      • ‘I have recently spent many months writing a book on hypnosis for the British Medical Association.’
      • ‘The best films nearly always come from original scripts or second-rate books.’
      • ‘Tell me about why you write stories and how you came to write a novel rather than a book of short stories.’
      • ‘She is currently at work on a literary thriller and a book of short stories based on her travels’
      work, publication, novel, composition, piece, creation, opus
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    2. 1.2Used to refer to studying.
      ‘he is so deep in his books he would forget to eat’
      • ‘And there is naturally also a limit to how many hours they can be poring over their books after many hours at school and three hours of homework.’
      • ‘Many students, sweating over their books, have dreamt of taking a relaxing nap in one of the beautiful forest clearings.’
      • ‘On one of those seemingly endless summer days he was poring over his books in the library.’
      • ‘But he never wallowed in self pity, and rather spent every available moment with his nose stuck deep in his books.’
      • ‘The campus has plenty of spots for students tired of slaving over their books in the library or dorms to get some fresh air.’
    3. 1.3A main division of a classic literary work, an epic, or the Bible.
      ‘the Book of Genesis’
      • ‘There are many commentaries on individual books of the Bible, but the reader who wishes to take a broader view has less choice.’
      • ‘God always dictated the Torah, as well as other books of the Bible, in the language used by the people at the time.’
      • ‘And not only does the book of Proverbs have this potential, but almost all the books of the Bible.’
      • ‘As a theologian he is most famous for his practical work in revising the order of the books of the Bible and arranging them into chapters.’
      • ‘Bryan never went into a frenzy, nor did he recite the books of the Bible.’
      • ‘However, in the textual criticism of the books of Scripture this is problematic in several ways.’
      • ‘Of course, and that truth is preserved in the 66 books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.’
      • ‘When Jerome started work there were already Latin translations of many of the books of the Bible.’
      • ‘The book of Esther is the only book of the Bible that does not contain the name of God.’
      • ‘He makes that claim in a short essay on the gospel of Luke in Revelations, a collection of personal responses to books of the Bible.’
      • ‘I found the list he had made of the books of the Bible in the drawer of his bedside table.’
      • ‘There are some books of the Bible whose authors cannot be known completely.’
      • ‘In the 2nd Century AD the first four books of the New Testament were known as gospels.’
      • ‘The New Testament contains the books that provide the basis for modern Christianity.’
      • ‘Esther is one of the most neglected books of the Old Testament, certainly as far as commentaries are concerned.’
      • ‘Some readers of the Bible consider the book of Hebrews to be a description of a faith journey.’
      • ‘Set up to follow the order of the books of the Bible, these photos and texts run from Creation to Revelation!’
      • ‘As many have noted, the very last words of the last book of the Jewish Bible end on a similar note.’
      • ‘Of the 42 books of the Bible that Shakespeare drew upon, Ecclesiasticus and Job seem to have been his favourites.’
      • ‘There are also rough translations of other books of the Bible, currently used for teaching purposes.’
    4. 1.4The libretto of an opera or musical, or the script of a play.
      • ‘Keira took out the script book that she hadn't yet returned to the handbag.’
      text, screenplay, libretto, lyrics, score, lines, parts, dialogue, words, manuscript
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5The local telephone directory.
      ‘is your name in the book?’
      • ‘We are not a secret organisation, but out of necessity you will not find us in the book.’
      • ‘And if you have fond memories of a special teacher, why not look them up in the book and say ‘thanks’ one more time?’
      • ‘Mum told me his surname, and I looked him up in the book, and called him, but his mum told me he was out so I left a message.’
      • ‘New customers who found our number in the book would get the message ‘the number you reached is not in service.’’
      • ‘Apart from in 2006/7, we are members of the Offa's Dyke Association, find us in the book, or the online entry they have for us.’
    6. 1.6The Bible.
      • ‘The Book contains the revelations that spell out what's fair and unfair or right and wrong.’
      • ‘Of course, no book is more important or more popular than the book - the Bible.’
    7. 1.7informal A magazine.
      • ‘Their readers nearly always referred to these magazines as 'books'.’
      • ‘'I read it in a book.' 'What book?' 'Vogue, that's what book.'’
      • ‘Money meant that no one laughed behind her back when she called magazines books.’
      • ‘Some older readers still refer to their magazines as 'books'.’
      journal, publication, periodical, paper, proceedings
      View synonyms
    8. 1.8An imaginary record or list (often used to emphasize the thoroughness or comprehensiveness of someone's actions or experiences)
      ‘she felt every emotion in the book of love’
      • ‘The way he receives his partner in his hotel room wouldn't count among ‘nice and friendly’ in the book of etiquette.’
      • ‘There is a little known secret in the book of relationships, filed under the chapter on breaking up and I am here to share it.’
      • ‘Whether or not ‘long distance’ relationships can work is one of those age-old questions in the book of love.’
  • 2[with modifier] A bound set of blank sheets for writing or keeping records in.

    ‘an accounts book’
    • ‘She also added two leather bound books to the bag, one was blank but the other was full of spells that Olivia might need for the journey to the Wastes.’
    • ‘She leaned back against her pillows and tapped her pen against the leather bound book.’
    • ‘The three of them then turned to look at the subject of their topic, just in time to see a grey address book fall out with a thud.’
    • ‘The Narrator looked up from the leather bound book he was reading from; tears were coursing from his eyes.’
    • ‘He was marking exam papers when by chance he found a blank page in a candidate's answer book.’
    • ‘On his return from the war, he transcribed the diaries into ledger books, filling in gaps from memory.’
    • ‘She reached into one of her few bags, and pulled out a leather bound book, and began to read.’
    • ‘I went over to this podium in the corner which had a large ledger book opened up on it.’
    • ‘She put the account book away and walked out to the site where they had been attacked.’
    • ‘He pulled a heavy, leather bound book off from a high shelf, and cracked it open gently.’
    • ‘As the man walked towards Pierre a man came from the back holding a huge old leather bound book.’
    • ‘DocSearcher doesn't search my email, my address book entries or my browser history.’
    • ‘Colouring books can occupy a child quietly for a while.’
    • ‘That brought to mind the leather bound book that she had borrowed from the library.’
    • ‘Before he could finish his sentence, Cass drew a green account book from a shelf to the side.’
    • ‘She spotted Joel propped up against the wall, reading a thick, leather bound book.’
    • ‘It's much more difficult to find a coloring book image of a crawdad than one would think.’
    • ‘Verona, our daughter, had completed the bicycling clown in her colouring book and was bored.’
    • ‘Maura gave him a puzzled glance but closed the account book and made her way to the entrance.’
    • ‘As the reading went on, a guy sitting down in front of me drew an impressionistic sketch into a handmade blank book.’
    notepad, notebook, pad, memo pad, exercise book, binder
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    1. 2.1A set of records or accounts.
      ‘he can do more than balance the books’
      • ‘For example, she bases one chapter on account books devoted to the West Indian trade.’
      • ‘Account books of the period reveal how traders fared in this unusual situation.’
      • ‘They must sell an expensive player approximately once every 12 months to balance the books.’
      • ‘The council has been struggling to balance the books for years.’
      • ‘The council said the extra 29 million it has been given will be soaked up by education and there is simply not enough money to balance the books.’
      • ‘But now it is understood senior officers say they cannot keep using reserves to balance the books.’
      • ‘It is believed that the land was not mentioned in the company's books or records or in the annual accounts.’
      • ‘To help you balance the books for a night at the movies, here is the admission and snack bar breakdown for the five theatres reviewed.’
      • ‘His proposal has come as council finance chiefs look to balance the books and keep this year's rise in council tax below five per cent.’
      • ‘They balance the books by selling places to students from developing countries.’
      • ‘What's more, balance the books properly and you can avoid the perils of going deeper and deeper into debt.’
      • ‘There was a desk in the middle of the room, with account books stacked and arranged neatly around each other.’
      • ‘They need to be able to balance the books to continue to provide it.’
      • ‘With all this extra wealth coming into the city, the council is unable to balance the books.’
      • ‘Overnight there was a tenfold increase in the valuation put on the city's council homes to balance the books and keep the sell-off on track.’
      • ‘The money I put in on departure was to balance the books, but reductions in certain areas will be needed.’
      • ‘That's where the savings are required to balance the books.’
      • ‘He had then tried to juggle the accounts in a desperate bid to balance the books.’
      • ‘In this study, memoirs and diaries, account books and statistics are used to forge an image of the life that went on in these houses.’
      • ‘But sceptics say he still has to cut spending or raise taxes to balance the books and could raise indirect taxes in next year's budget.’
      accounts, records, archives
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A bookmaker's record of bets accepted and money paid out.
      • ‘According to both the bookmakers and the form book it's a two-horse race.’
    3. 2.3The first six tricks taken by the declarer in a hand of bridge.
      • ‘The person who plays the highest card of the suit led, or who plays the highest trump, wins the book.’
      • ‘If no one plays a trump, then the highest ranking card to the suit led wins the book.’
  • 3A set of tickets, stamps, matches, checks, samples of cloth, etc., bound together.

    ‘a pattern book’
    ‘a book of matches’
    • ‘Instead, it was as if the models were swathed in giant fabric sample books, each layer peeling off to reveal another beneath.’
    • ‘Junior season ticket books cost £25 for home and away games plus cup competitions.’
    • ‘Once, when he was driving with his fiancée, a traffic policeman stopped him and took out a ticket book.’
    • ‘What to do when you are suddenly faced with a wall of wallpaper sample books at your local retail store?’
    • ‘He scribbled his address and Com number on the back of a book of matches and gave it to her.’
    • ‘In addition to the student samples, items are also sampled into test books.’
    • ‘All completed ticket books and sponsorship should be returned to the organising committee immediately.’
    • ‘They have books of pictures and samples that you can look through there, and they can do it all.’
    • ‘At our local wallpaper store they gave me several large sample books of discounted wallpaper.’
    • ‘Season ticket holders are being urged to bring their entire season ticket books with them to ensure entry to the ground.’
    • ‘Leagues of volunteers will start working the room selling books of Grand Raffle tickets.’
    • ‘It was then that he remembered the book of matches in his pocket, and drew it out.’
    • ‘If you feel you can support the club by selling a few books of tickets please don't hesitate to contact any committee or club member.’
    • ‘Sample books were purchased for the teachers to read based on their preferences.’
    • ‘Perry specialised in making books of matches (advertising bars or restaurants, for example).’
    • ‘Those who can write in with the correct guess win a book of stamps!’
    • ‘Current rules allow a passenger to carry two lighters and four books of matches.’
    • ‘It's just, when you go out into the woods you should carry a book of matches, or some waterproof matches.’
    • ‘A book of first class stamps and a letter of apology was the scant compensation offered to a woman who claimed her mail had been stolen.’
    • ‘He sits again, pulls a book of matches out of his pocket, strikes one and holds it out toward me.’


  • 1Reserve (accommodations, a place, etc.); buy (a ticket) in advance.

    ‘I have booked a table at the Swan’
    [no object] ‘book early to avoid disappointment’
    • ‘Regretfully only those who have booked places can be accommodated on this occasion’
    • ‘The auditorium was packed and places were booked well in advance for this eagerly anticipated show.’
    • ‘Places are fully booked for the Summer Camp.’
    • ‘The popularity of the event has meant commercial accommodations are sometimes booked one year in advance.’
    • ‘Whenever I book a ticket in advance, they always put me in the quiet carriage.’
    • ‘All welcome to come and view the activities and premises on offer or to book a place for your child.’
    • ‘A little voice at the back of my head is telling me I really should book some accommodation in advance.’
    • ‘As places are limited it is important that places are booked early.’
    • ‘Space for bicycles is limited on Scotrail trains, and so book a place in advance.’
    • ‘The tower - including the viewing platform - can be booked for special events.’
    • ‘Excursions can be booked at the guest services desk at the resort.’
    • ‘Much coastal and Dales accommodation is already booked up in advance, and Scarborough had to print 10,000 extra holiday brochures to satisfy demand.’
    • ‘During its long run, the Community Centre was booked out in advance for most of the show nights.’
    • ‘If deemed appropriate, a student union committee could suspend the fraternity's privileges for booking rooms and tables.’
    • ‘The hotels and guest houses are booked up a year in advance, and anyone who has any sense will spend both days avoiding the main roads and the railway station.’
    • ‘From November to March its rooms are booked up more quickly than umbrellas turn inside out.’
    • ‘You can support them by booking your tickets or table at the earliest convenience and ensure you're attending a very special Dream Ball.’
    • ‘Similar to one week packages in the Canary Islands, all places were booked well in advance.’
    • ‘Advance tickets can be booked online or by calling 07005 942 579.’
    • ‘By the end of the no-pressure sell, the four other guests had booked a consultation.’
    arrange, programme, schedule, timetable, line up, secure, fix up, lay on
    reserve, make a reservation for, arrange in advance, prearrange, arrange for, order
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Reserve accommodations for (someone)
      ‘his secretary had booked him into the Howard Hotel’
      [with two objects] ‘book me a single room at my usual hotel’
      • ‘The hotel they'd booked me was expensive, but I wasn't complaining.’
      • ‘We have taken the liberty at booking you at Collelungo, an agriturismo near Castellina.’
      • ‘We'd been booked into The Hotel That Time Forgot.’
      • ‘Around 1,000 guests were flown in on planes chartered from Air India and were booked into two swish hotels.’
      • ‘It started out with me being booked to work for NWA Florida through Eric Loy who is a liaison for the promotion.’
      • ‘They sought out a guest services representative and booked themselves into a 5 star resort, just a 20 minute drive away.’
      • ‘Until we realised we had been booked into the wrong hotel.’
      • ‘Even booking you both into one of the most luxurious hotels in Moncton, Canada.’
      • ‘A couple feared for their lives after they were booked into a hotel in what they described as a dangerous drugs ghetto in South Africa.’
      • ‘My boyfriend brought me to London and surprised me by booking us in at the Met Hotel, absolutely stunning and funky place to stay, I loved it!’
    2. 1.2Engage (a performer or guest) for an occasion or event.
      • ‘Each month the society holds a concert booking artists from all over the UK and abroad.’
      • ‘Several senior speakers from Scotland's main IT markets are booked for the networking event.’
      • ‘He is booked perform one of his routines live on national television.’
      • ‘However the programme for this year is going to be hard to improve on as some of the best artistes in Ireland and abroad are booked to perform.’
      • ‘But Thomas does not stop at booking the artists.’
      • ‘A promoter who booked them to play in Ripley, Derbyshire, suggested he change his name to Cliff Richard.’
      • ‘No, but they can determine whether or not someone should take a risk on booking an artist.’
      • ‘So I was surprised when I heard where we had been booked to perform this Patrick's Day - Niagara, the Canadian side.’
      • ‘Work got underway booking performers as far back as last September and work on the parade for concepts and ideas got underway in March.’
      • ‘We've booked a band for the night and some other guest artists will also play.’
      • ‘According to the panel report, he was responsible for booking Western artists for the Harbour Fest.’
      • ‘Many acts have been booked to perform both on the main stage in Castlewellan and in several smaller venues in Newcastle, Ballynahinch and Downpatrick.’
      • ‘He booked me on a show in Alabama, but didn't know who the audience was.’
      • ‘The singer was originally booked for a small concert in Hangzhou on June 12, sponsored by an ice tea company.’
      • ‘He has been booked to perform three times this season by Reading, Yeovil and Swindon.’
      • ‘Even if they've never heard you speak, the fact that you were booked as a speaker gives you instant credibility.’
    3. 1.3Have all appointments or places reserved; be full.
      ‘I'm booked till, like, 2014’
      • ‘But yet again the photographer was turned away because the gallery was booked up.’
      • ‘‘My clinic is booked up until 2006, with a waiting list of nine to ten months, and my colleagues also have waiting lists of up to 12 months,’ he said.’
      • ‘Any builder of any worth is booked up from now till kingdom come, and they don't do too badly on the money front either.’
      • ‘All my rooms were booked up by congress delegates.’
      • ‘The Evening Press made a call to the centre to ask what accommodation was available and was told by that most hotels were booked up this weekend.’
      • ‘People can come on the night but it may be booked up so they should book in advance.’
      • ‘And because the doctors' time is being booked up by patients who don't turn up, it means everyone has to wait longer to see their GP.’
      • ‘Every place we'd tried was booked up, so we were getting a bit panicky.’
      • ‘Since then, it has become a popular venue for exhibitions and is booked up until well into 2006.’
      • ‘All places have been booked up this weekend, but the sessions will also be available next Saturday.’
  • 2Make an official record of the name and other personal details of (a criminal suspect or offender)

    ‘the cop booked me and took me down to the station’
    • ‘Eventually you'll get booked by the cops and handed a fine.’
    • ‘Clients who do stop in these areas are often harassed by police by flashing their lights or booking them for traffic offences.’
    • ‘After new inmates are booked, they're interviewed, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes.’
    • ‘A number of people were booked quite unnecessarily, causing anger and disbelief that such an innocent action could result in such draconian measures.’
    • ‘We went over to the Palm Beach County Jail where I was booked on this single charge, filed a not guilty plea, went in there and smiled for the mug shot.’
    • ‘He was transported back to Bayview Station where he was booked on weapons, narcotics, the warrant and illegal encampment charges.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, officers booked him on charges of theft.’
    • ‘She was booked on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge and released on $600 bail.’
    • ‘Officers took the inebriated tourists to the Pattaya police station and booked them on charges of physical assault and drunk and disorderly behavior.’
    • ‘He was also booked for selling alcohol after hours.’
    • ‘He was arrested in a San Francisco residence and brought to the San Jose Main Jail where he was booked on several counts of armed robbery.’
    • ‘After a sobriety test, he was booked on suspicion of two misdemeanor charges’
    • ‘He was booked on suspicion of making threats with intent to terrorize and on suspicion of interfering with a person's civil rights.’
    • ‘The 39-year-old singer was booked on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon late on Friday.’
    • ‘She was booked on misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a valid driver license.’
  • 3US informal [no object] Leave suddenly.

    ‘they just ate your pizza and drank your soda and booked’
    • ‘We gotta book—fast.’
    • ‘Look, I gotta book. I'll see you guys later.’
    • ‘It was time to book out of here. I jumped onto the bike and started to pedal, heading for the mainland.’
    • ‘You gotta book, Officer. I gotta stay.’
    1. 3.1Move quickly; hurry.
      ‘my sister and I booked to the playground’
      ‘I didn't hear the verdict because I had to book it to work’
      • ‘He was booking through a parking lot recently when a car lurched backward.’
      • ‘I started booking it due north, trying my best to move as quickly as I could without losing my footing.’
      • ‘We better book if we're gonna go to P.E.’
      • ‘Then he just booked it around the corner and we never saw him again.’
      • ‘Book, man! Can't you run? Something wrong with your legs?’
      • ‘He's booking through that park.’
      • ‘She waved bye-bye and booked out of there.’


  • bring someone to book

    • Bring someone to justice; punish.

      • ‘He seemed unfazed that an array of high-tech gadgetry was to be deployed in his street with the aim of bringing him to book.’
      • ‘He said: ‘They are committing environmental crimes and our dedicated enforcement teams will be using all their investigative resources to track them down and bring them to book.’’
      • ‘And he warned the troublemakers that they would be brought to book over the next few months using evidence gathered on the night and CCTV video footage of the disorder.’
      • ‘The council should be bringing someone to book.’
      • ‘It's good that he has been brought to book and sends out a strong message to others.’
      • ‘But they can be brought to book under legislation governing companies making false and misleading claims.’
      • ‘When we find them, we'll bring them to book and lock them away for a long, long time.’
      • ‘And officers have warned the criminals that they have taken an extra special interest in bringing them to book.’
      • ‘Officers want teachers to join them on night-time patrol so they can identify juvenile troublemakers and help bring them to book.’
      • ‘If you are found guilty of corruption, you will be brought to book.’
      scold, upbraid, berate, reprimand, reprove, rebuke, admonish, chide, censure, castigate, lambaste, lecture, criticize, pull up, take to task, haul over the coals, bring to book
      View synonyms
  • by the book

    • Strictly according to the rules.

      ‘a cop who doesn't exactly play it by the book’
      • ‘It's not because all of these corporations are doing it just by the book.’
      • ‘But hey, life's too short to play it by the book all the time.’
      • ‘No, I am just trying to do the whole thing by the book according to my right as a qualified resident foreigner.’
      • ‘They follow procedure and go by the book; he ignores the rules if it means getting the job done.’
      • ‘We even have to keep an open mind about whether there were any dealings that weren't strictly by the book.’
      • ‘Do you think the TV stations are playing by the book in not running excessively violent stuff at 8.30?’
      • ‘For such policemen, I have no feelings, they ought to be dealt with strictly by the book.’
      • ‘Now, this might appear to be a time to play things strictly by the book in order to protect your biggest lifetime investment.’
      • ‘The referee played it by the book and said that League rules say that if the pitch isn't fit at 12 noon it won't get any better.’
      • ‘Business as usual, even when done strictly by the book, is not necessarily the safest way of operating.’
      according to the rules, in accordance with the rules, within the law, abiding by the law, lawfully, legally, legitimately, licitly
      honestly, fairly, openly
      on the level, on the up and up, fair and square
      View synonyms
  • close the book on

    • Lay aside; expend no further energy on.

      ‘Congress closed the book on wool subsidies’
      • ‘In fact, Vermont closed the books on its 2003 fiscal year with a $10.4 million surplus, even as California, Massachusetts, and many other states battle huge deficits.’
      • ‘The Dow and Nasdaq were ready to close the books on their first down years since 1990.’
      • ‘It adds that that the aim is ‘to clear the accounts and to close the books for the years up to March 1995’.’
      • ‘Shareholder requirements for dividends made it necessary to define an accounting period, close the books and calculate profits.’
      • ‘One can also appreciate how the bean counters want to be able to close the books with a positive result against any negative expense.’
      • ‘We're still closing the books on 2003, and there will be a summary article in the April issue of the magazine.’
      • ‘I'll eat my hat if his successor does not close the books at the end of 2004 with a small surplus.’
      • ‘This focus is consistent with the practice of closing the books of account annually.’
      • ‘He suggests that a club owner spend the extra money to hire an accountant to formally close the books at the end of the year.’
      • ‘Now, as companies close the books on another quarter, the lack of pricing power combined with weak demand is sapping the top and bottom lines.’
  • in someone's bad (or good) books

    • In disfavor (or favor) with a person.

      • ‘She's a terrible snob and I'm sure she's only inviting you because it's the done thing and she wants to be polite as well as keep in my good books.’
      • ‘Jon defended me gallantly, earning him a little tick in my good books.’
      • ‘And since she answered my silly questions with patience and saccharine sweetness, she is in my good books.’
      • ‘Ministers and officials in the state see to it that they stay in their good books.’
      • ‘Apparently all the folk in Deerness had heard of my good deed, and that seems to have put me in their good books.’
      • ‘After half-an-hour of this taunting and torture, the only place his men would have been was in his bad books.’
      • ‘The matron, who was in charge of us, was a formidable figure and you didn't want to get in her bad books.’
      • ‘He's back in their good books, so his odds remain long.’
      • ‘I still didn't think it would be a good idea to go by there alone - especially since I was now in his bad books.’
      • ‘They say: ‘Let's try and be in their good books.’’
  • in my book

    • In my opinion.

      ‘that counts as a lie in my book’
      • ‘So in my book that makes it really controllable, even in bad weather.’
      • ‘Celebrities who can rough it on the streets with the homeless are okay in my book.’
      • ‘Forgive the caveman economics, but keeping the lights and heating on comes a long way ahead of saving the planet, in my book.’
      • ‘Admittedly he is inclined to forget things like birthdays, but that's not a cardinal sin, not in my book, anyway.’
      • ‘True democracy, in my book, is one person one vote on any decision that effects the society that is voting.’
      • ‘It was a fish soup, no doubt made from yesterday's unsold fish - but that's a good thing in my book.’
      • ‘They all had vests but not one of them had opted for a tie, another transgression in my book.’
      • ‘At the press of a button, I could tell what temperature it was in their nursery too, which takes spying to a whole new level in my book.’
      • ‘The party was a real laugh, lovely people, tasty food - a good combo in my book!’
      • ‘So anything which helps interns find their way around a community which can be very intimidating must, in my book, be a good thing.’
      for my part, for my own part, for myself, according to my way of thinking, to my mind, in my estimation, as far as i am concerned, in my, in my own opinion, in my own view, from my own point of view, from where i stand, from my standpoint, as i see it, if you ask me, for my money, in my book
      View synonyms
  • make book

    • Take bets on the outcome of an event.

      figurative ‘I wouldn't make book on it’
      • ‘It will probably do worse - since the kind of events he wants to make book on are even more unpredictable and emotional than elections.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a quintessentially Wodehousian plot is brewing in nearby Tottleigh Castle, where staff is making book on the identity of Lady's Alyce's husband-to-be.’
      • ‘The bookmakers have opened a book on the Anti-Litter League quoting Kilkenny city as favourite to win at odds of 10/1.’
      • ‘IG Index and its spread betting competitors garner publicity by making a book on ‘grey market’ prices ahead of initial public offerings (IPOs).’
      • ‘You can think of it as an American alternative to those famous London betting shops that will make book on just about anything.’
      • ‘The company is always game to open a book on most events and we do get some unusual requests.’
      • ‘If I knew how to open a book (the bookie kind, I know how to open book-books) I would.’
      • ‘In fact Betfair has nothing in particular to do with racing or any other sport on which it makes a book.’
      • ‘Major organizations are making book on who will be the next Miss World; check out this site for the current odds, and place a bet if you are so inclined.’
  • one for the books

    • An extraordinary feat or event.

      • ‘As in 1942, Williams provided an early indication that the 1947 season was going to be one for the books.’
      • ‘But after what I witnessed, what we all saw well, I guess your report will be one for the books, to say the least’
      • ‘Wednesday a week or so back was one for the books!’
      • ‘For a team who have been full of surprises their final capitulation was definitely one for the books.’
      • ‘And one for the books, the corporate giant giving investors the biggest dividend payout in history.’
      • ‘This contest was one for the books because of what took place between the chalk lines.’
      • ‘Somewhere around then though we got drunk in the burger bar which was one for the books.’
      • ‘I already know this night is going to be one for the books so don't miss.’
      • ‘‘This was one for the books,’ the boy says, suddenly imitating his father's banal, platitude-ridden speech.’
      • ‘‘Well that's one for the books. ‘Unknown hole appears in the side of a 22 foot yacht and sinks.’’
  • on the books

    • Contained in a book of laws or records.

      ‘discriminatory laws still on the books’
      ‘the longest pitching career on the books’
      • ‘We have only got thirteen players on the books who have made more than 20 Premiership appearances.’
      • ‘Said player would be placed on the books, which would then be made available for clubs anxious to strengthen their squads.’
      • ‘This includes several dozen refugees from the former Yugoslavia who are on the books of an employment agency.’
      • ‘The garage closes with 15 employees on the books, all of whom are entitled to transfer to the incoming dealer in Preston.’
      • ‘He was on the books of top rugby union club Leicester Tigers as a junior but has switched to the League code.’
      • ‘He was one of the 50,000 or so people on the books of YouGov, the internet pollsters, but was hardly ever asked for his views.’
      • ‘He's not the fastest player on the books and occasionally he can be a bit casual and sometimes gets caught in possession.’
      • ‘Discloses for the first time that six current members of the United first team squad are now on the books of the modelling agency.’
      • ‘The ailing team have finally resigned from division two with only seven or eight players on the books.’
      • ‘The first three players on the books have the talent to form the nucleus of a premiership winning side.’
  • people of the book

    • Jews and Christians as regarded by Muslims.

      • ‘We cannot marry in any circumstances among the followers of other religious barring the People of the Book.’
      • ‘Some modern thinkers call for recognition of the ties binding the People of the Book together as a means of promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation.’
      • ‘The ultimate challenges of the People of the Book have never been physical ones.’
      • ‘It is often said by Muslims that there is respect in traditional Islam for the People of the Book - that is, Jews and Christians.’
      • ‘Instead, there is a far greater possibility that such marriages will positively influence the women of the People of the Book by inducing them to accept Islam.’
      • ‘The Jews became known as the People of the Book, a title given them by Mohammed.’
      • ‘Then the people of the Qu'ran join with the People of the Book, admiring their common prophets.’
      • ‘Muslim men are permitted to marry non-Muslim women from the People of the Book - i.e. Jews and Christians.’
      • ‘The People of the Book will say a prayer, thanking God / Yahweh / Allah for the food.’
      • ‘Do the People of the Book in the verse refer to the Jews and Christians of all times?’
  • suit someone's book

    • Be convenient for someone.

      ‘it didn't suit her book at all to be moved’
      • ‘My sister is quick to call somebody a friend, even somebody she hardly knows, if it suits her book.’
      • ‘Of course many of us have to relearn these lessons in a new cycle because changes in monetary policy seldom suit our book at the time.’
      • ‘It is typical of the minimisation the Leader of the Opposition is capable of when it suits his book.’
      • ‘Price your liquidity accurately for each of your client segments and recognize which flows suit your book and which don't, so that you can.’
      • ‘It might suit his book to allege that, but that is not the position of my honourable friend.’
      • ‘Decide what type of work activities best suit your book.’
      • ‘Sorry if that doesn't suit your book or your plans for us but when you said for us to go home you forgot one thing.’
  • take a leaf from (or out of) someone's book

    • Imitate or emulate someone in a particular way.

      ‘Gorbachev must take a leaf from Deng's book and offer tangible benefits’
      • ‘He wished more young people would take a leaf out of his book and follow his example.’
      • ‘He carried the club at times last season, but others must take a leaf out of his book.’
      • ‘You have some genuine elected members who care for their community so perhaps take a leaf out of their book.’
      • ‘We may all stand disgusted when we see the state of some foreign prisons, but maybe we should take a leaf out of their book.’
      • ‘If only those responsible for devising the new routes and timetables for our buses could take a leaf out of their book.’
      • ‘I hope you do not mind Catherine, I am taking a leaf out of your book and asking anyone that passes this way to please call around and offer your support to John and his family.’
      • ‘He seems very pleasant and hard working, a few could do with taking a leaf out of his book.’
      • ‘I'm going to take a leaf out of your book, at least for a couple of days, and spend my time eating and sleeping by turns.’
      • ‘I hope others take a leaf out of your book and I look forward to working with you again next year.’
      • ‘They gave an as near to perfect display of football as possible and what a pity some of our male teams don't take a leaf out of their book.’
      • ‘Perhaps those intent on putting up ludicrously-priced properties under the guise of ‘regeneration’ around here could take a leaf out of their book.’
      imitate, copy, reproduce, mimic, mirror, echo, follow, model oneself on, take as a model, take as an example
      View synonyms
  • throw the book at

    • Charge or punish (someone) as severely as possible.

      • ‘Does this make you feel like throwing the book at your unsolicited informant, and to lose interest in reading on?’
      • ‘Speeders beware: judge may throw the book at you’
      • ‘If the charges are proved, throw the book at the perpetrators, but not until.’
      • ‘The United States sees children killing each other in the classroom, but you can't just throw the book at them.’
      • ‘I hope the NYC police throw the book at this woman.’
      • ‘You can't throw the book at anyone because it is happening.’
      • ‘And considering my contempt for the Ivy League, I hope, you know, they throw the book at them.’
      • ‘So they're basically saying to people, ‘If we ever find out that the claims that you made were false, look out, we're going to throw the book at you.’’
      • ‘Her bond has been set at $50,000 and it would be nice if a judge throws the book at her.’
      • ‘If he's guilty, they should throw the book at him.’
      • ‘But if he doesn't, I'm sure the government is prepared to throw the book at him.’
      • ‘Will you, Mr Speaker, sort out the chief whip and throw the book at her?’
      • ‘We have always said we're prepared to throw the book at the terrorists, because that's who we've got to concentrate upon.’
      • ‘We're going to throw the book at you, or at least some facts, from our presidential election research editorial guide.’
      • ‘As far as we are concerned, we will throw the book at them and we would expect that magistrates do the same.’
      • ‘I suppose its best that I ask the Corporation to take away my bin and throw the book at me as you cannot get blood out of a stone - and I am that stone.’
      • ‘And last week, in the run-up to his visit, the Kremlin was continuing to throw the book at the company.’
      • ‘If so, then I do hope that the feds are throwing the book at her - I want her to fry for this!’
      • ‘But this is their opportunity to appear tough on racial sensitivity and they're going to throw the book at us.’
      • ‘I hope that the prosecutors and law enforcement officers also take this seriously and throw the book at him if he is caught.’
      scold, upbraid, berate, reprimand, reprove, rebuke, admonish, chide, censure, castigate, lambaste, lecture, criticize, pull up, take to task, haul over the coals, bring to book
      View synonyms
  • write the book

    • Used in reference to particular expertise or proficiency in a subject, area of activity, etc.

      ‘they actually care about the product they are making and they wrote the book on customer service’
      ‘he pretty much writes the book on how to be perfect in the media’
      • ‘He's the man who wrote the book on duplicity.’
      • ‘Here were two football powers who wrote the book on heroics and football legends, rewriting it in a game and on a stage like this.’
      • ‘I could write the book on rehab.’
      • ‘Clooney plays Miles Massey, a hotshot divorce attorney who wrote the book on prenuptial agreements.’
      • ‘The way she goes on, you'd think she wrote the book on fidelity.’
      • ‘I know how the whole ‘need-to-know’ system works: in fact I wrote the book on it!’
      • ‘They could write the book on luxury, whether it's stays in country houses on the shores of magical lochs or voyages through the Outer Hebrides.’
      • ‘California wrote the book on approachability.’
      • ‘The only thing Robert is willing to reveal about the special guest mentor is that they could "write the book on vulnerability."’
  • you can't judge a book by its cover

    • proverb Outward appearances are not a reliable indication of true character.

      • ‘Despite the admonition that you can't judge a book by its cover, I tend to find that, increasingly, you can.’
      • ‘Guess you can't judge a book by its cover after all.’
      • ‘They seemed all right at first but I suppose you can't judge a book by its cover.’
      • ‘And I think that, like this movie says, you can't judge a book by its cover.’
      • ‘Anyone who says you can't judge a book by its cover is an idiot.’
      • ‘I told you that you can't judge a book by its cover,’ he reminded her, in an ‘I-told-you-so’ type of manner.’
      • ‘This book defies the old adage that claims you can't judge a book by its cover.’
      • ‘Mind you, you can't judge a book by its cover, me old mum used to say.’
      • ‘This was just another thing that contributed to the fact you can't judge a book by its cover.’
      • ‘But you can't judge a book by its cover or whatever they say.’


Old English bōc (originally also a document or charter), bōcian to grant by charter of Germanic origin; related to Dutch boek and German Buch, and probably to beech (on which runes were carved).