1. given or devoted to reading or study.
  2. more acquainted with books than with real life.
  3. of or relating to books; literary.
  4. stilted; pedantic.


  1. fond of reading; studious
  2. consisting of or forming opinions or attitudes through reading rather than direct personal experience; academica bookish view of life
  3. of or relating to booksa bookish career in publishing

1560s, “literary,” from book (n.) + -ish. In sense of “overly studious” it is recorded from 1590s. Related: Bookishly; bookishness.

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