from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A concise manual or reference book providing specific information or instruction about a subject or place.
  • noun A book in which off-track bets are recorded.
  • noun A place where off-track bets are taken.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small book or treatise, properly such as may easily be held in the hand; specifically, a manual or compendium, or a guide-book for travellers: as, handbooks of science; a handbook of Italy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A book of reference, to be carried in the hand; a manual; a guidebook.
  • noun A book containing reference information for a specific field.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A topically organized book of reference on a certain field of knowledge, disregarding the size of it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a concise reference book providing specific information about a subject or location


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1814, from hand +‎ book, or perhaps a reintroduction of Old English handbōc "handbook", or a loan-translation of German Handbuch "handbook". Compare Dutch handboek, Danish håndbog, Swedish handbok.


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