from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Protective footgear, as of leather or rubber, covering the foot and part or all of the leg.
  • n. A protective covering, especially a sheath to enclose the base of a floor-mounted gear shift lever in a car or truck.
  • n. Chiefly British An automobile trunk.
  • n. A kick.
  • n. Slang An unceremonious dismissal, as from a job. Used with the.
  • n. Slang A swift, pleasurable feeling; a thrill.
  • n. A Denver boot.
  • n. A marine or navy recruit in basic training.
  • n. Computer Science The process of starting or restarting a computer.
  • n. An instrument of torture, used to crush the foot and leg.
  • transitive v. To put boots on.
  • transitive v. To kick.
  • transitive v. Slang To discharge unceremoniously. See Synonyms at dismiss.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To start (a computer) by loading an operating system from a disk.
  • transitive v. To disable (a vehicle) by attaching a Denver boot.
  • transitive v. Baseball To misplay (a ground ball).
  • intransitive v. To be of help or advantage; avail.
  • n. Chiefly Southern & Midland U.S. See lagniappe.
  • n. Archaic Advantage; avail.
  • idiom to boot In addition; besides: Not only was the new cruise ship the biggest in the world, but the fastest to boot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A heavy shoe that covers part of the leg.
  • n. A blow with the foot; a kick.
  • n. A flexible cover of rubber or plastic, which may be preformed to a particular shape and used to protect a shaft, lever, switch, or opening from dust, dirt, moisture, etc.
  • n. A torture device used on the feet or legs, such as a Spanish boot.
  • n. A parking enforcement device used to immobilize a car until it can be towed or a fine is paid; a wheel clamp.
  • n. A rubber bladder on the leading edge of an aircraft’s wing, which is inflated periodically to remove ice buildup. A deicing boot.
  • n. A place at the side of a coach, where attendants rode; also, a low outside place before and behind the body of the coach.
  • n. A place for baggage at either end of an old-fashioned stagecoach.
  • n. The luggage storage compartment of a sedan or saloon car.
  • n. The act or process of removing somebody from a chat room.
  • n. unattractive person, ugly woman
  • v. To kick.
  • v. To apply corporal punishment (compare slippering).
  • v. To forcibly eject.
  • v. To vomit.
  • v. To disconnect forcibly; to eject from an online service, conversation, etc.
  • n. remedy, amends
  • n. profit, plunder
  • v. to profit, avail, benefit
  • n. The act or process of bootstrapping; the starting or re-starting of a computing device.
  • v. To bootstrap; to start a system, eg. a computer, by invoking its boot process or bootstrap.
  • n. A bootleg recording.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Remedy; relief; amends; reparation; hence, one who brings relief.
  • n. That which is given to make an exchange equal, or to make up for the deficiency of value in one of the things exchanged.
  • n. Profit; gain; advantage; use.
  • n. A covering for the foot and lower part of the leg, ordinarily made of leather.
  • n. An instrument of torture for the leg, formerly used to extort confessions, particularly in Scotland.
  • n. A place at the side of a coach, where attendants rode; also, a low outside place before and behind the body of the coach.
  • n. A place for baggage at either end of an old-fashioned stagecoach.
  • n. An apron or cover (of leather or rubber cloth) for the driving seat of a vehicle, to protect from rain and mud.
  • n. The metal casing and flange fitted about a pipe where it passes through a roof.
  • n. Booty; spoil.
  • intransitive v. To boot one's self; to put on one's boots.
  • transitive v. To profit; to advantage; to avail; -- generally followed by it; as, what boots it?
  • transitive v. To enrich; to benefit; to give in addition.
  • transitive v. To put boots on, esp. for riding.
  • transitive v. To punish by kicking with a booted foot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To profit; advantage; avail: now only used impersonally: as, it boots us little.
  • To present into the bargain; enrich; benefit.
  • To put boots on.
  • To torture with the boot.
  • To kick; drive by kicking: as, boot him out of the room.
  • To beat, formerly with a long jack-boot, now with a leather surcingle or waist-belt: an irregular conventional punishment inflicted by soldiers on a comrade guilty of dishonesty or shirking duty.
  • n. Profit; gain; advantage.
  • n. Something which is thrown in by one of the parties to a bargain as an additional consideration, or to make the exchange equal.
  • n. Help or deliverance; assistance; relief; remedy: as, boot for every bale.
  • n. Resource; alternative.
  • n. A covering (usually of leather) for the foot and lower part of the leg, reaching as far up as the middle of the calf, and sometimes to the knee.
  • n. Hence In modern usage, also, any shoe or outer foot-covering which reaches above the ankle, whether for men or women: more properly called half-boot or ankle-boot.
  • n. An instrument of torture made of iron, or a combination of iron and wood, fastened on the leg, between which and the boot wedges were introduced and driven in by repeated blows of a mallet, with such violence as to crush both muscles and bones.
  • n. A protective covering for a horse's foot.
  • n. In the seventeenth century, a drinking-vessel: from the use of leathern jacks to drink from.
  • n. In ornithology, a continuous or entire tarsal envelop, formed by fusion of the tarsal scutella. It occurs chiefly in birds of the thrush and warbler groups. See cut under booted.
  • n. The fixed step on each side of a coach.
  • n. An uncovered space on or by the steps on each side of a coach, allotted to the servants and attendants; later, a low outside compartment, either between the coachman's box and the body of the coach or at the rear.
  • n. A receptacle for baggage in a coach, either under the seat of the coachman or under that of the guard, or, as in American stage-coaches, behind the body of the coach, covered by a flap of leather.
  • n. A leather apron attached to the dashboard of an open carriage and designed to be used as a protection from rain or mud.
  • n. Booty; spoil; plunder.
  • n. Obsolete preterit of bite.
  • n. In agriculture, the uppermost leaf-sheath, just below the brush or head, of a broom-corn plant; also the lowest leaf-bearing internode on a stalk of wheat.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an instrument of torture that is used to heat or crush the foot and leg
  • n. footwear that covers the whole foot and lower leg
  • n. the act of delivering a blow with the foot
  • n. a form of foot torture in which the feet are encased in iron and slowly crushed
  • n. British term for the luggage compartment in a car
  • v. kick; give a boot to
  • n. protective casing for something that resembles a leg
  • v. cause to load (an operating system) and start the initial processes
  • n. the swift release of a store of affective force


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English bote, from Old French.
Middle English boten, to be of help, from Old English bōtian, from bōt, help.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English boote, bote ("shoe"), from Old French bote ("a high, thick shoe"). Of obscure origin, but probably related to Old French bot ("club-foot"), Old French bot ("fat, short, blunt"), probably from Old Norse buttr ("short, blunt"), from Proto-Germanic *buttaz, *butaz (“cut off, short, numb, blunt”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhud-, *bhAud-, *bheid- (“to strike, push, shock”). Compare Norwegian butt ("stump"), Low German butt ("blunt, plump"), Old English bytt ("small piece of land"), Old English buttuc ("end"). More at buttock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English. Akin to Old Norse bót ("bettering, remedy") (Danish bod), Gothic 𐌱𐍉𐍄𐌰 (bota), German Buße.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortening of bootstrap.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bootleg ("to make or sell illegally"), by shortening


  • IV. iv.651 (360,7) [boot] that is, _something over and above_, or, as we now say, _something to boot_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • BUT if Disk A is in the system, OSX will boot from Disk B as the ** boot** disk, but then it'll still make Disk A the ** root** disk, meaning if you do a df - k/, or diskutil info/, you will notice Disk A is mounted as "/"!

    Discussions: Message List - root

  • The entry in the menu letting you boot to one or the other is in c: \boot. ini.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • Incidentally, the term "boot camp" itself has undergone a semantic recalibration, and now primarily denotes the period between the X Factor auditions and the live shows, as opposed to a training academy for military recruits.

    The Guardian World News

  • In essence, the machine has to kick start itself, “pull itself up by its own bootstraps” before it can start working; hence the term boot.

    Zen Computer

  • The only drawback to the boot is the rubber, scuff-proof toe cap.

    Danner Expedition GTX Hiking Boots

  • For a silly little car the boot is actually a reasonable size.

    Go Ape! « Sven’s guide to…

  • It also conducts what it calls "boot camps" for people looking to make financial changes; 280,000 people have signed up for at least one so far.

  • Before we went into the script, I put them through what I call boot camp training in a certain style of physical theatre.

    London Free Press

  • The point of a re-boot is to, um, well, update the premise, right?

    kateelliott: Star Trek: Alas, Count Me Underwhelmed


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  • "Little boots it to the peace of a family, brother Toby, that you and I possess ourselves, and sit here silent and unmoved,-----whilst such a storm is whistling over our heads.-----" ---Tristram Shandy, Vol. IV, Ch. XVI

    March 16, 2013

  • IrE: use AmE (car) trunk

    April 26, 2011

  • Here we see boot used in the construction "boot about" to mean "move around generally". A friend of mine uses this construction, as well as more specific ones like "boot over to" and "boot round to" (a given place). E.g.

    "Hello? Yarb, mate, I'll be five minutes. I've just got to boot over to the cash machine."

    October 10, 2008

  • Onthophagus taurus lives naturally in southern Europe and the Middle East, but it has booted about a bit and is now found in many other places too.

    - Economist article, 28-8-2008

    October 10, 2008

  • to get the boot = to get the sack, be fired from employment

    July 24, 2008

  • also means: to enrich; to benefit; to give in addition as in "what boots it?"

    July 24, 2008