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[boot-blak] /ˈbutˌblæk/
a person who shines shoes and boots for a living.
Origin of bootblack
An Americanism dating back to 1810-20; boot1 + black Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bootblack
Historical Examples
  • One of the servants, named Tom, was the bootblack of the hotel.

  • He can be a bootblack, a servant, a barber, perhaps a teamster.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • He was finally carried to bed in the custody of the bootblack.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • She did not recognize him, having no idea that it was Tom the bootblack.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • It makes all the difference between a young gentleman and a bootblack.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • "I am not ashamed of having been a bootblack," said our hero, calmly.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • After leaving the bootblack Ralph hardly knew what to do with himself.

    The Young Bridge-Tender Arthur M. Winfield
  • There was Pasquale, the bootblack, who was earning nearly as much as I ever did.

    One Way Out William Carleton
  • "I don't want any of his money," said the bootblack contemptuously.

    Bernard Brooks' Adventures Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • Then he told of the professor's approach, and of his escape by the help of the bootblack.

    Bernard Brooks' Adventures Horatio Alger, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for bootblack


(mainly US) another word for shoeblack
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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