Meaning of “book” in the English Dictionary

"book" in British English

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uk /bʊk/ us /bʊk/

book noun (TEXT)

A1 [ C ] a written text that can be published in printed or electronic form:

Have you read any good books recently?
He has a new book out (= published).
She wrote a book on car maintenance.

A1 [ C ] a set of pages that have been fastened together inside a cover to be read or written in:

I took a book with me to read on the plane.
He writes all his expenses in a little book he carries with him.

[ C ] one of the parts that a very long book, such as the Bible, is divided into:

the book of Job

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book noun (MONEY RECORD)

books [ plural ]

the written records of money that a business has spent or received:

At the end of the year, the accountant goes over (= checks) the books.
Running a school is much more of a business than it used to be, - by law we have to balance our books.

[ S ] the situation in which a bookmaker accepts and pays out amounts of money that are risked on a particular result:

They've already opened/started a book on the result of the next World Cup.


uk /bʊk/ us /bʊk/

book verb (ARRANGE)

A2 [ T or I ] to arrange to have a seat, room, performer, etc. at a particular time in the future:

[ + two objects ] I've booked us two tickets to see "Carmen"/I've booked two tickets for us to see "Carmen".
She'd booked a table for four at their favourite restaurant.
Will booked a seat on the evening flight to Los Angeles.
We were advised to book early if we wanted to get a room.
They booked a jazz band for their wedding.
The hotel/restaurant/theatre is fully booked (up) (= all the rooms/tables/tickets have been taken).
I'd like to go but I'm booked up (= I have arranged to do other things) until the weekend.

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(Definition of “book” from the XXXCambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"book" in American English

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booknoun [ C ]

us /bʊk/

book noun [ C ] (TEXT)

an object consisting of a number of pages of text or pictures fastened together along one edge and fixed inside two covers:

The artist’s sketch books filled several shelves.

A book is also a number of similar items fastened together inside a cover:

a book of matches/stamps


us /bʊk/

book verb (ARRANGE)

[ I/T ] to arrange to have the use of a seat, room, etc. at a particular time in the future:

[ T ] Our travel agent booked us on a flight to Paris.

[ I/T ] Someone who books a performer arranges a performance:

[ T ] They booked the Rolling Stones for two concerts in New York.

book verb (ACCUSE)

[ T ] to officially accuse someone of a crime:

Detectives booked him for resisting arrest.

(Definition of “book” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"book" in Business English

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uk /bʊk/ us

[ C ] a set of pages in a cover that you read or write in:

book about/on sth She is author of three books about criminal procedure.
The company publishes an extensive range of books.
children's/reference/self-help books
an address book
go by the book also do sth by the book

to do something exactly as the rules tells you:

My lawyer always goes strictly by the book.
This is a private deal - we don't have to do everything by the book.
on the books

employed by a company or officially belonging to an organization:

There are 256 people on the books at the cement works.
Carla is on the books of a modelling agency.


uk /bʊk/ us

[ I or T ] mainly UK to arrange a place on a flight, a room in a hotel, a ticket for an event, etc. for a particular time in the future:

Because tickets are limited, you have to book early.
book a flight/holiday/show When he tried to book a flight home to Australia, his credit card was refused.
book a table/room/seat.
book an appointment/meeting If you want to see Ms. Smith you'll have to book an appointment.
book sth for sth It's the day we have provisionally booked for the launch of the new media website.
See also

[ T ] ACCOUNTING to make a record of something in a company's accounts:

The loss would have been much larger had they not booked an £8m profit from property sales.
book sth in sth Jarvis expects to be able to book some or all of that figure in the current year's accounts.

(Definition of “book” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)