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

  • n. A purse; a handbag.
  • n. A pocket-sized folder or case used to hold money and papers; a billfold.
  • n. Financial resources; money supply: prices to fit your pocketbook.
  • n. A pocket-sized, usually paperbound book. Also called pocket edition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman's purse.
  • n. One's personal budget or economic capacity - the amount one can afford.
  • n. A small book, especially one that can fit in a pocket; a paperback; also a pocket book.
  • n. A notebook that is small enough to fit in a pocket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small book or case for carrying papers, money, etc., in the pocket; also, a notebook for the pocket.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A book to be carried in the pocket; a note-book.
  • n. A book worthy to be constantly used, small enough to be carried in the pocket.
  • n. A small book or pouch, usually of flexible leather, divided into compartments, made for carrying money or memoranda in the pocket
  • n. Pecuniary resources, especially of one person.
  • n. A fresh-water mussel, Lampsilis capax or L. ventricosus, which has round valves of great depth.

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

  • n. pocket-sized paperback book
  • n. pocket-sized paperback book
  • n. your personal financial means
  • n. a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
  • n. a pocket-size case for holding papers and paper money


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Yes, it's metaphorical. It's along the same lines of pocketbook = wallet.

    Actually, in the 18th century (and possibly later), pocketbook referred to a man's wallet. I've most often heard it, in my lifetime, referring to a woman's purse (not specifically wallet).

    May 26, 2009

  • It's a metaphoric sense. It's outdated, but I've heard it.

    May 26, 2009

  • Don't know what WeirdNet's on about. Not a usage I've ever heard.

    May 25, 2009