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

  • n. A loop of leather, cloth, or synthetic material that is sewn at the side or the top rear of a boot to help in pulling the boot on.
  • n. An instance of starting of a computer; a boot.
  • transitive v. To promote and develop by use of one's own initiative and work without reliance on outside help: "We've bootstrapped our way back with aggressive tourism and recruiting high tech industries” ( John Corrigan).
  • transitive v. Computer Science To boot (a computer).
  • adj. Undertaken or accomplished with minimal outside help.
  • adj. Being or relating to a process that is self-initiating or self-sustaining.
  • idiom by (one's) (own) bootstraps By one's own efforts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A loop (leather or other material) sewn at the side or top rear of a boot to help in pulling the boot on.
  • n. A means of advancing oneself or accomplishing something without aid.
  • n. The process by which the operating system of a computer is loaded into its memory
  • n. The process necessary to compile the tools that will be used to compile the rest of the system or program.
  • n. Any method or instance of estimating properties of an estimator (such as its variance) by measuring those properties when sampling from an approximating distribution.
  • v. To help (oneself) without the aid of others.
  • v. To load the operating system into the memory of a computer. Usually shortened to boot.
  • v. To compile the tools that will be used to compile the rest of the system or program.

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

  • v. help oneself, often through improvised means
  • n. a strap that is looped and sewn to the top of a boot for pulling it on


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

boot +‎ strap


  • In the late sixties, Jerry and a pair of protégés, Henry Kravis and George Roberts, began pursuing what they called bootstrap investments—what later became famously known as leveraged buyouts.

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  • Because of that connectedness, the only URI you need to give to your clients is one URI called the bootstrap URI..

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  • My dad was a PDP-11 programmer in the old days, and he's got great stories about booting the machine up with a "bootstrap" -- a strip of punched cardboard that you whipped through the computer like the strip on a Hot Wheels car, so that it could find all the gunk it needed to start up properly.

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  • The good news is that many could be "bootstrap" - financing technologies.

  • I’ve gotten some emails from people who seem like they might know what they’re doing on the insides of WordPress, so I’ll play along and start the bootstrap from the OPML Editor side of things (hoping some OPML Editor users or developers pitch in when they see questions they can answer).

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  • A bootstrap is a process which, in order to create an X, you need one or more X's.

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  • Old people, for the most part, no longer fit into the "bootstrap" narrative that says the best kind of person is the one who is most in control and least reliant on other people.

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  • In effect, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued this morning, to "bootstrap" the evidence and the arguments into the case.

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  • Someone actually wrote 'bootstrap' and 'Marxist' just above.

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  • Firmware is write-once, read-many memory, and generally is just there to 'bootstrap' the computer -- do the initial hardware configuration, and look around for an operating system on a hard disk to load.

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