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

  • noun A small book or pamphlet containing poems, ballads, stories, or religious tracts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of a class of tracts upon homely and miscellaneous subjects which at one time formed the chief popular literature of Great Britain and the American colonies.

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

  • noun Any small book carried about for sale by chapmen or hawkers. Hence, any small book; a toy book.

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

  • noun A small book, usually made from a single sheet, folded several times, containing poems, ballads or religious tracts


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[chap(man) + book (so called because it was originally sold by chapmen).]


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  • In book collecting, describes a cheaply printed book of the kind sold by street vendors in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    February 25, 2008