Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To be of help or advantage; avail.
  • noun Archaic Advantage; avail.
  • idiom (to boot) In addition; besides.
  • noun A durable covering for the foot and part or much of the leg, usually made of leather, fabric, plastic, or rubber.
  • noun A protective covering, especially a sheath to enclose the base of a floor-mounted gear shift lever in a car or truck.
  • noun Chiefly British An automobile trunk.
  • noun A kick.
  • noun Slang An unceremonious dismissal, as from a job. Used with the.
  • noun Slang A swift, pleasurable feeling; a thrill.
  • noun A Denver boot.
  • noun A marine or navy recruit in basic training.
  • noun Computers The process of starting or restarting a computer.
  • noun An instrument of torture, used to crush the foot and leg.
  • transitive verb To put boots on.
  • transitive verb To kick.
  • transitive verb Slang To discharge unceremoniously. synonym: dismiss.
  • transitive verb Computers To start (a computer) by loading an operating system from a disk.
  • transitive verb To disable (a vehicle) by attaching a Denver boot.
  • transitive verb Baseball To misplay (a ground ball).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To profit; advantage; avail: now only used impersonally: as, it boots us little.
  • To present into the bargain; enrich; benefit.
  • noun Profit; gain; advantage.
  • noun Something which is thrown in by one of the parties to a bargain as an additional consideration, or to make the exchange equal.
  • noun Help or deliverance; assistance; relief; remedy: as, boot for every bale.
  • noun Resource; alternative.
  • noun Obsolete preterit of bite.
  • noun Booty; spoil; plunder.
  • noun 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.
  • 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A protective covering for a horse's foot.
  • noun In the seventeenth century, a drinking-vessel: from the use of leathern jacks to drink from.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The fixed step on each side of a coach.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A leather apron attached to the dashboard of an open carriage and designed to be used as a protection from rain or mud.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To profit; to advantage; to avail; -- generally followed by it; as, what boots it?
  • transitive verb obsolete To enrich; to benefit; to give in addition.
  • noun Remedy; relief; amends; reparation; hence, one who brings relief.
  • noun That which is given to make an exchange equal, or to make up for the deficiency of value in one of the things exchanged.
  • noun obsolete Profit; gain; advantage; use.
  • noun in addition; over and above; besides; as a compensation for the difference of value between things bartered.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English boten, to be of help, from Old English bōtian, from bōt, help; see bhad- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English bote, from Old French.]

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortening of bootstrap.

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.

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    www.startribune.com

Comments

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

    July 24, 2008

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

    July 24, 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

  • 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

  • IrE: use AmE (car) trunk

    April 26, 2011

  • "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