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[pas-boo k, pahs-] /ˈpæsˌbʊk, ˈpɑs-/
a bankbook.
(formerly) a small book or ledger for each customer in which a merchant keeps a record of goods sold on credit and the amounts owed and paid.
South African. reference book (def 2).
Origin of passbook
1820-30; pass + book Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for passbook
Historical Examples
  • He liked a pleasant object for a walk, so at least once a week he made a point of fetching his passbook from the bank.

    War-time Silhouettes Stephen Hudson
  • The bank had sent her a passbook with that amount to her credit.

    The Miracle Man Frank L. Packard
  • He was working out in his mind how handsomely this first payment would show up on the welcome side of his passbook.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • But he had found in his passbook only this morning that she had already cashed his last cheque for fifty pounds.

    From Out the Vasty Deep Mrs. Belloc Lowndes
  • The official gave some instruction to the general office, and a passbook was produced.

  • Grenier obtained his passbook and check book, after writing a check on London before the other man's eyes.

    The King of Diamonds Louis Tracy
  • The passbook kept with heaven stirs me to anger and laughter.

British Dictionary definitions for passbook


a book for keeping a record of withdrawals from and payments into a building society
another name for bankbook
a customer's book in which is recorded by a trader a list of credit sales to that customer
(formerly in South Africa) an official document serving to identify the bearer, his race, his residence, and his employment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for passbook

also pass-book, 1828, from pass (v.) + book (n.); apparently the notion is of the document "passing" between bank and customer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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