1. A collection of sheets of paper, or similar material, blank, written, or printed, bound together; commonly, many folded and bound sheets containing continuous printing or writing.

When blank, it is called a blank book. When printed, the term often distinguishes a bound volume, or a volume of some size, from a pamphlet.

It has been held that, under the copyright law, a book is not necessarily a volume made of many sheets bound together; it may be printed on a single sheet, as music or a diagram of patterns.

2. A composition, written or printed; a treatise. "A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." (Milton)

3. A part or subdivision of a treatise or literary work; as, the tenth book of "Paradise Lost."

4. A volume or collection of sheets in which accounts are kept; a register of debts and credits, receipts and expenditures, etc.

5. Six tricks taken by one side, in the game of whist; in certain other games, two or more corresponding cards, forming a set.

Book is used adjectively or as a part of many compounds; as, book buyer, bookrack, book club, book lore, book sale, book trade, memorandum book, cashbook. Book account, an account or register of debt or credit in a book. Book debt, a debt for items charged to the debtor by the creditor in his book of accounts. Book learning, learning acquired from books, as distinguished from practical knowledge. "Neither does it so much require book learning and scholarship, as good natural sense, to distinguish true and false." . Book louse, to lay bets (recorded in a pocket book) against the success of every horse, so that the bookmaker wins on all the unsuccessful horses and loses only on the winning horse or horses. To speak by the book, to speak with minute exactness. Without book. By memory. Without authority.

Origin: OE. Book, bok, AS. Bc; akin to Goth. Bka a letter, in pl. Book, writing, Icel. Bk, Sw. Bok, Dan. Bog, OS. Bk, D. Boek, OHG. Puoh, G. Buch; and fr. AS. Bc, bce, beech; because the ancient Saxons and Germans in general wrote runes on pieces of beechen board. Cf. Beech.

(01 Mar 1998)

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