a book containing models, usually of penmanship, for learners to imitate.
a book for or containing copies, as of documents.
commonplace; stereotyped: a copybook sort of phrase.

1550–60; copy + book Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
copybook (ˈkɒpɪˌbʊk)
1.  a book of specimens, esp of penmanship, for imitation
2.  chiefly (US) a book for or containing documents
3.  informal blot one's copybook to spoil one's reputation by making a mistake, offending against social customs, etc
4.  (modifier) trite or unoriginal: copybook sentiments

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Computing Dictionary

copybook definition

programming, library
(Or "copy member", "copy module") A common piece of source code designed to be copied into many source programs, used mainly in IBM DOS mainframe programming.
In mainframe DOS (DOS/VS, DOS/VSE, etc.), the copybook was stored as a "book" in a source library. A library was comprised of "books", prefixed with a letter designating the language, e.g., for Assembler, for Cobol, etc., because DOS didn't support multiple libraries, private libraries, or anything. This term is commonly used by COBOL programmers but is supported by most mainframe languages. The IBM OS series did not use the term "copybook", instead it referred to such files as "libraries" implemented as "partitioned data sets" or PDS.
Copybooks are functionally equivalent to C and C++ include files.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
The copybook, pen, and ink were reserved for more permanent work in the last
  and previous century.
Greenspan blotted his copybook disastrously with his support of deregulated
Listed below are the copybook names of the transactions being modified.
He would carry a copybook along to note his findings in bird watching and
  nature observation.
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