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  1. without result, gain, or advantage; unavailing; useless.
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Origin of bootless

before 1000; Middle English bot(e)les, Old English bōtlēas unpardonable. See boot2, -less
Related formsboot·less·ly, adverbboot·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bootless


  1. of little or no use; vain; fruitlessa bootless search
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Derived Formsbootlessly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English bōtlēas, from bōt compensation; Old Norse bótalauss
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

Word Origin and History for bootless


late Old English botleas "unpardonable, not to be atoned for, without help or remedy," from boot (n.2) + -less. Meaning "useless, unprofitable" is from early 15c.

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"lacking boots," late 14c., from boot (n.1) + -less.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper