Definition of hornbook in US English:



  • 1A teaching aid consisting of a leaf of paper showing the alphabet, and often the ten digits and the Lord's Prayer, mounted on a wooden tablet and protected by a thin plate of horn.

    • ‘One is an eighteenth-century hornbook (not illustrated), a common device for teaching the alphabet and numbers, but exceptional in this case because it is made of silver.’
    1. 1.1North American Law A one-volume treatise summarizing the law in a specific field.
      ‘a high demand for hornbooks that are quick and easy to use’
      • ‘Tribe implies that a mere catalog or hornbook reciting recent decisions might be achievable, even if rapidly outdated.’
      • ‘A nice example of this comes from hornbook contract law, and in particular the rule that one could not enforce a contract if one was not a party or had not given consideration.’
      • ‘Gaius wrote his famous Institutes, or hornbook, near the end of this time.’
      • ‘From how he is described, one can guess that if Roberts were a professor today, he would likely be a doctrinally-oriented scholar and probably hornbook writer.’
      • ‘As for studying, I've yet to use any kind of supplement, hornbook, etc.’