Definition of chapbook in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHapˌbo͝ok/


1A small pamphlet containing tales, ballads, or tracts, sold by peddlers.
Example sentences
  • The print revolution undoubtedly had an important impact on folk culture, through, for example, the mass printing of chapbooks, ballads, almanacs, and cheap abbreviated novels, not to mention religious literature.
  • The wealth of John Winchcombe, ‘Jack of Newbury’, in the early Tudor period was legendary and his exploits were commemorated in ballads and chapbooks.
  • Moreover, the practice, in England at least, of the printing of chapbooks and ballads meant that reading for leisure was also a possibility.
1.1North American A small paperback booklet, typically containing poems or fiction.
Example sentences
  • That year she published the first of three chapbooks, Ten Poems.
  • She holds an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington, and is author of two chapbooks of poems, most recently What Stays.
  • A chapbook of his poems is forthcoming from Groundwater Press.


Early 19th century: from chapman + book.

Words that rhyme with chapbook


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chap·book

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