Definition of chapbook in English:

chapbook

noun

historical
  • 1A small pamphlet containing tales, ballads, or tracts, sold by peddlers.

    • ‘The work is a development of the Puritan conversion narrative, drawing on popular literature such as emblem books and chapbooks, as well as Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Bible.’
    • ‘The wealth of John Winchcombe, ‘Jack of Newbury’, in the early Tudor period was legendary and his exploits were commemorated in ballads and chapbooks.’
    • ‘Moreover, the practice, in England at least, of the printing of chapbooks and ballads meant that reading for leisure was also a possibility.’
    • ‘The play has often been connected to a narrative which, although surviving only in an 18th-century chapbook, was believed to derive from a much earlier version of the Titus story which Shakespeare dramatized.’
    • ‘The print revolution undoubtedly had an important impact on folk culture, through, for example, the mass printing of chapbooks, ballads, almanacs, and cheap abbreviated novels, not to mention religious literature.’
    1. 1.1North American A small paperback booklet, typically containing poems or fiction.
      • ‘Her poems have appeared in numerous chapbooks as well as in journals.’
      • ‘Printing 500 hardcover copies of the book required from Miller a larger investment than had the chapbooks he'd previously done - but the gamble paid off in critical attention.’
      • ‘Poetry chapbooks stapled to the hallway bulletin boards offer glossy evidence of academic bustle.’
      • ‘A chapbook of ‘My Poetry’ alone would be a masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned.’
      • ‘But now, published as a handsome if austere chapbook, the poem can be understood on its own terms.’
      • ‘Mark Weiss is the author of two chapbooks and two collections of poems.’
      • ‘Bruce Boston is the author of forty books and chapbooks, including the novel Stained Glass Rain.’
      • ‘‘Ideally, the three chapbooks will consist of one long continuous poem broken up into parts,’ Kellough says.’
      • ‘She holds an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington, and is author of two chapbooks of poems, most recently What Stays.’
      • ‘Today you read my essay or my poetry chapbook; tomorrow I will read yours-or look at your painting, watch your play, or listen to you play the guitar.’
      • ‘Rendezvous, a long poem, will be published as a chapbook by Wild Honey Press in Dublin early this year.’
      • ‘This is thrilling news for Montreal, a city where you can't slip on the ice without being caught by a spoken word performer trying to sell you a chapbook.’
      • ‘That year she published the first of three chapbooks, Ten Poems.’
      • ‘The concentrated, condensed format of the chapbook in some ways performs an inversion of the role that a Selected Poems might act out.’
      • ‘Jonathan runs The Martian Press, which publishes poetry chapbooks.’
      • ‘Most of what I do is chapbooks so it's great to have someone pay to put out a paperback once a year.’
      • ‘The contest is open to African-American poets and authors of chapbooks and self-published books who have not been published by a professional press.’
      • ‘During that time, I put together a whole chapbook of my poems, mostly about my family.’
      • ‘A chapbook of his poems is forthcoming from Groundwater Press.’
      • ‘A painter, publisher, editor and art historian, he has produced one hundred and twenty chapbooks and books of poetry, graphics and art documentation.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from chapman + book.

Pronunciation

chapbook

/ˈCHapˌbo͝ok/