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(1) Outer shell of a book, usually either case (boards) or paper.

(2) Cover material used for a book (cloth, paper, etc.).

(3) Hence also denotes the edition (hardback or paperback).

(4) Process in the binding of a book during which the limp cover or stiff boards are drawn onto and secured to the book block.

This definition is extracted (and expanded on) from the book Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Gerald Jackson and Marie Lenstrup.

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