Definition of paperback in English:



  • (of a book) bound in stiff paper or flexible cardboard.


  • A book bound in stiff paper or flexible cardboard.

    • ‘It was a musty smelling paperback with yellowed pages and a bent cover.’
    • ‘This yellowing paperback has sat on my book shelves since my student days.’
    • ‘It is a nicely bound and illustrated paperback that can be obtained at modest cost.’
    • ‘The book brawl started fifteen years ago when megabookstore chains deeply discounted bestsellers, as well as other hardbacks and paperbacks.’
    • ‘The hardbound is for collectors and paperback for those who just want to read.’
    • ‘He was reading a dog-eared Raymond Chandler paperback instead of the anatomy text he planned to study.’
    • ‘Each of them had the look and feel of a good trade paperback in a plain cover.’
    • ‘On any bus or train, it is Dan Brown's paperback that mesmerises passengers.’
    • ‘I began collecting them as second-hand paperbacks and then updated them: first as new paperbacks, then as hardbacks and finally, first editions.’
    • ‘Every finished paperback, every empty packet of fags was normally followed by two or three kids rushing to sell me a replacement.’
    • ‘When she got back, she quickly ran up to her room to grab the trashy romance paperback she'd brought along.’
    • ‘The recently published paperback of Jackson's memoir is kinder to Bryant than the original hardback edition.’
    • ‘I guess you could print the whole book and read it that way, but the cost of printing would hardly be less than that of the high quality paperback.’
    • ‘They have re-issued as a large-scale trade paperback Kurt Wilhelm's 1989 book on Strauss.’
    • ‘I'm not talking about quickie paperbacks, the kind that publishers toss off in a matter of weeks in response to an event or news story that captures the popular imagination.’
    • ‘The cover was what initially attracted me to this very slim paperback on the shelves.’
    • ‘I have to remind myself it was only a book - mass-market paperback, pristine condition though bought used.’
    • ‘I'm toying with setting a requirement for third year students to read this paperback over the summer.’
    • ‘Bookshelves lined the walls, overfilled with paperbacks, hardcovers and textbooks.’
    • ‘Parsons says that as a rule of thumb, writers get 50p from every paperback sold and £1 for every hardback.’
    book, volume, hardback, title, work, tome, opus, treatise, manual, register, almanac, yearbook, compendium
    View synonyms


  • in paperback

    • In an edition bound in stiff paper or flexible cardboard.

      ‘now available in paperback’
      • ‘Let's hope for a quicker-to-read, smaller and cheaper reprinting in paperback.’
      • ‘This set him off on the idea of publishing literature in paperback, making it available cheaply and widely.’
      • ‘This week's book review was published this year in paperback after its initial publication in hard cover last year.’
      • ‘This book was published in hard back in November 1998 and is coming out in paperback in January 2000.’
      • ‘First published in hardback in 2003, the book is now available in paperback.’