Definition of chapbook in English:



  • 1historical A small pamphlet containing tales, ballads, or tracts, sold by pedlars.

    • ‘The print revolution undoubtedly had an important impact on folk culture, through, for example, the mass printing of chapbooks, ballads, almanacs, and cheap abbreviated novels, not to mention religious literature.’
    • ‘The wealth of John Winchcombe, ‘Jack of Newbury’, in the early Tudor period was legendary and his exploits were commemorated in ballads and chapbooks.’
    • ‘Moreover, the practice, in England at least, of the printing of chapbooks and ballads meant that reading for leisure was also a possibility.’
    • ‘The play has often been connected to a narrative which, although surviving only in an 18th-century chapbook, was believed to derive from a much earlier version of the Titus story which Shakespeare dramatized.’
    • ‘The work is a development of the Puritan conversion narrative, drawing on popular literature such as emblem books and chapbooks, as well as Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Bible.’
    1. 1.1North American A small paper-covered booklet, typically containing poems or fiction.
      • ‘That year she published the first of three chapbooks, Ten Poems.’
      • ‘She holds an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington, and is author of two chapbooks of poems, most recently What Stays.’
      • ‘A chapbook of his poems is forthcoming from Groundwater Press.’
      • ‘During that time, I put together a whole chapbook of my poems, mostly about my family.’
      • ‘Mark Weiss is the author of two chapbooks and two collections of poems.’
      • ‘Her poems have appeared in numerous chapbooks as well as in journals.’
      • ‘Rendezvous, a long poem, will be published as a chapbook by Wild Honey Press in Dublin early this year.’
      • ‘But now, published as a handsome if austere chapbook, the poem can be understood on its own terms.’
      • ‘A painter, publisher, editor and art historian, he has produced one hundred and twenty chapbooks and books of poetry, graphics and art documentation.’
      • ‘The contest is open to African-American poets and authors of chapbooks and self-published books who have not been published by a professional press.’
      • ‘Printing 500 hardcover copies of the book required from Miller a larger investment than had the chapbooks he'd previously done - but the gamble paid off in critical attention.’
      • ‘Bruce Boston is the author of forty books and chapbooks, including the novel Stained Glass Rain.’
      • ‘Jonathan runs The Martian Press, which publishes poetry chapbooks.’
      • ‘Most of what I do is chapbooks so it's great to have someone pay to put out a paperback once a year.’
      • ‘A chapbook of ‘My Poetry’ alone would be a masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned.’
      • ‘The concentrated, condensed format of the chapbook in some ways performs an inversion of the role that a Selected Poems might act out.’
      • ‘‘Ideally, the three chapbooks will consist of one long continuous poem broken up into parts,’ Kellough says.’
      • ‘Today you read my essay or my poetry chapbook; tomorrow I will read yours-or look at your painting, watch your play, or listen to you play the guitar.’
      • ‘Poetry chapbooks stapled to the hallway bulletin boards offer glossy evidence of academic bustle.’
      • ‘This is thrilling news for Montreal, a city where you can't slip on the ice without being caught by a spoken word performer trying to sell you a chapbook.’


Early 19th century from chapman+ book.