Definition of book noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bʊk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bʊk//
    Types of text, Departments in stores
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    printed work
  1. 1  [countable] a set of printed pages that are fastened inside a cover so that you can turn them and read them a pile of books hardback/paperback books See related entries: Types of text
  2. 2  [countable] a written work published in printed or electronic form a book by Stephen King a book about/on wildlife reference/children’s/library books Wordfinderauthor, book, classic, critic, drama, fiction, genre, literature, poetry, write CollocationsLiteratureBeing a writer write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography become a writer/​novelist/​playwright find/​have a publisher/​an agent have a new book out edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript dedicate a book/​poem to…Plot, character and atmosphere construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative advance/​drive the plot introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere build/​heighten the suspense/​tension evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of… engage the reader seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythmLanguage, style and imagery use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(especially US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique be rich in/​be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/​achieve an effect maintain/​lighten the tone introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imaginationReading and criticism read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem Wordfinderbiography, blockbuster, book, character, editor, narrator, novel, plot, publish, title See related entries: Departments in stores
  3. for writing in
  4. 3  [countable] a set of sheets of paper that are fastened together inside a cover and used for writing in an exercise book a notebook see also address book, colouring book
  5. of stamps/tickets/matches, etc.
  6. 4  [countable] a set of things that are fastened together like a book a book of stamps/tickets/matches a chequebook
  7. accounts
  8. 5the books [plural] the written records of the financial affairs of a business synonym accounts to do the books (= to check the accounts) You need to go over the books again; there’s a mistake somewhere.
  9. section of Bible, etc.
  10. 6[countable] a section of a large written work the books of the Bible
  11. for betting
  12. 7[countable] (British English) a record of bets made on whether something will happen, somebody will win a race, etc. They’ve opened a book on who’ll win the Championship.
  13. Word OriginOld 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).Extra examples Do you want to renew any of your library books? Her name was inscribed in the book. His latest book will appear in December. How many books can I borrow? How many books have you got out? How many copies of the book did you order? I couldn’t put the book down. She does the books for us. She looked up from her book and smiled at him. She’s busy writing a book on astrology. Someone was cooking the books. The book is dedicated to his mother. The collector had many books inscribed to him by famous authors. There’s nothing like curling up with a mug of tea and a good book. These issues are discussed in his latest book. We have fifty people on the books. a book by Robert Grout a book for new parents a book of walks in London a controversial book about the royal family a new book from the publishing company, Bookworm a survey to find the nation’s favourite children’s book one of the earliest printed books His desk was covered with piles of books. I’m reading a book by Robert Shea. The book has received some terrible reviews. a library/​hardback bookIdioms
    be in somebody’s good/bad books
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    (informal) used to say that somebody is pleased/annoyed with you I'm in her good books at the moment because I cleared up the kitchen.
    bring somebody to book (for something)
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    (formal, especially British English) to punish somebody for doing something wrong and make them explain their behaviour We will ensure that people who commit fraud are brought to book through the courts.
    following rules and instructions in a very strict way She always does everything by the book.
    close the book on something
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    to stop doing something because you no longer believe you will be successful or will find a solution The police have closed the book on the case (= they have stopped trying to solve it).
    a closed book (to somebody)
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    a subject or person that you know nothing about Nuclear physics is a closed book to most of us.
    (informal) to change facts or figures dishonestly or illegally His accountant had been cooking the books for years.
    don’t judge a book by its cover
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    (saying) used to say that you should not form an opinion about somebody/something from their appearance only
    every trick in the book
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    every available method, whether it is honest or not He'll try every trick in the book to stop you from winning.
    the record of great achievements in history She has earned her place in the history books. (informal) used when you are giving your opinion That's cheating in my book.
    (be) on somebody’s books
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    (to be) on an organization’s list, for example of people who are available for a particular type of work We have very few nurses on our books at the moment. Most of the houses on our books are in the north of the city.
    if you describe somebody or their life as an open book, you mean that you can easily understand them and know everything about them
    read somebody like a book
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    to understand easily what somebody is thinking or feeling
    suit your/somebody’s book
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    (British English, informal) to be convenient or useful for you/somebody Well, if you’re honest and hard-working, that suits our book.
    take a leaf from/out of somebody’s book
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    to copy somebody’s behaviour and do things in the same way that they do, because they are successful
    throw the book at somebody
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    (informal) to punish somebody who has committed an offence as severely as possible ‘Get this man down to the station and throw the book at him!’ yelled Curtis.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: book