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

  • noun A strip of material, as of ribbon or leather, or a metal clamp, that is placed between the pages of a book to mark the reader's place.
  • noun A record of a selected webpage or URL kept by a program such as a web browser or help utility. Bookmarks allow the user to find and return to a selected site by clicking an easily recognizable link.
  • transitive verb To make a bookmark for (a webpage or URL).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ribbon or other device placed between the pages of a book, to mark a place where reading is to begin, or to which reference is to be made.

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

  • noun Something placed in a book to guide in finding a particular page or passage; also, a label in a book to designate the owner; a bookplate.

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

  • noun A strip of material used to mark a place in a book.
  • noun computing A record of the address of a file or Internet page serving as a shortcut to it.
  • noun databases A pointer found in a nonclustered index to a row in a clustered index or a table heap
  • verb computing, transitive To create a bookmark.

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

  • noun a marker (a piece of paper or ribbon) placed between the pages of a book to mark the reader's place


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I was wondering, last night, when in the course of human events this word will become as archaic and weird-sounding as, say, firkin. Will people one day wonder why those things you put on "favorite" lists in your web browser are called "bookmarks"? Will the Wordies of two centuries from now argue about its origins and etymology?

    October 31, 2007

  • Books will dwindle, but I doubt people will ever forget about them entirely...

    October 31, 2007

  • Interesting thought. I agree with uselessness, but even if books go away they'll persist like ghosts in our language, unnoticed. The way we all know what it is to be "on tenterhooks", without having any idea what a tenterhook is.

    October 31, 2007

  • Isn't dwindle a lovely word?

    October 31, 2007

  • Books won't go away. They smell too good when they're new. :-)

    C_b, somewhere on Wordie (can't remember exactly where--anyone?), a few of us had a discussion similar to this about words that have acquired new meanings now that computers are ubiquitous. I remember some Wordies saying that they never had to physically "cut" or "paste" anything while writing/editing--although I vividly remember doing so myself.

    November 1, 2007

  • Check out above the fold, and don't forget that comments are searchable now. ;-)

    November 1, 2007

  • Books smell good when they're old, too. :)

    November 1, 2007

  • Thanks, uselessness! I did forget. *slaps forehead*

    November 1, 2007

  • They do, rocks, but they smell very different from new ones. Especially the leatherbound old ones. :-)

    November 1, 2007