A hardcover book has stiff, rigid covers on its pages, rather than flexible ones. You might prefer hardcover books at home, but tend to pack paperback copies when you travel, since they weigh less.

Hardcover books are the ones that tend to be published first, with firm, sturdy covers protecting the pages. You can also call this type of book a hardback. Paperbacks, commonly published after the hardcover has been out for several months, are floppy, lighter, and cost less to buy. Most library books have a special cover that's called "library binding," but it tends to be rigid like a hardcover.

Definitions of hardcover
  1. adjective
    having a hard back or cover
    synonyms: hardback, hardbacked, hardbound
    having a back or backing, usually of a specified type
  2. noun
    a book with cardboard or cloth or leather covers
    synonyms: hardback
    see moresee less
    type of:
    book, volume
    physical objects consisting of a number of pages bound together
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week