Designating an arrangement whereby a bookseller pays for an order in full with the agreement that unsold stock may be returned to the publisher for credit or exchange; of or relating to such an arrangement. Also as adverb: under such an arrangement.
The term is no longer widely used amongst booksellers and publishers, since this arrangement or the similar arrangement of sale or return is now the default and therefore not usually specified.
1920s. From to see someone safe compare quot. 1934 at that entry.