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  1  definition  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Hornbook  \Horn"book`\,  n. 
  1.  The  first  book  for  children,  or  that  from  which  in  former 
  times  they  learned  their  letters  and  rudiments;  --  so 
  called  because  a  sheet  of  horn  covered  the  small  thin 
  board  of  oak,  or  the  slip  of  paper,  on  which  the  alphabet, 
  digits,  and  often  the  Lord's  Prayer,  were  written  or 
  printed;  a  primer.  ``He  teaches  boys  the  hornbook.'' 
  2.  A  book  containing  the  rudiments  of  any  science  or  branch 
  of  knowledge;  a  manual;  a  handbook.