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  1. a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention (often used in combination): intelligent infobots; shopping bots that help consumers find the best prices.

Origin of bot1

1985–90; shortening of robot


or bott

  1. the larva of a botfly.

Origin of bot2

1425–75; late Middle English; akin to Dutch bot, Frisian dialect botten (plural); further origin obscure


noun Australian Slang.
  1. a person who cadges; scrounger.

Origin of bot3

First recorded in 1915–20; perhaps shortening of botfly


  1. botanical.
  2. botanist.
  3. botany.
  4. bottle.


  1. Board of Trade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bot

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British Dictionary definitions for bot



  1. the larva of a botfly, which typically develops inside the body of a horse, sheep, or man
  2. any similar larva
  3. NZ informal a mild illness in humans
See also bots

Word Origin

C15: probably from Low German; related to Dutch bot, of obscure origin


  1. to scrounge or borrow
  2. (intr often foll by on) to scrounge (from); impose (on)
  1. a scrounger
  2. on the bot wanting to scroungehe's on the bot for a cigarette

Word Origin

C20: perhaps from botfly, alluding to the creature's bite; see bite (sense 12)


  1. computing an autonomous computer program that performs time-consuming tasks, esp on the internet

Word Origin

C20: from (ro) bot


abbreviation for
  1. Board of Trade


abbreviation for
  1. botanical
  2. botany
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 bot


in Internet sense, c.2000, short for robot. Its modern use has curious affinities with earlier uses, e.g. "parasitical worm or maggot" (1520s), of unknown origin; and Australian-New Zealand slang "worthless, troublesome person" (World War I-era). The method of minting new slang by clipping the heads off words does not seem to be old or widespread in English. Examples (za from pizza, zels from pretzels, rents from parents) are American English student or teen slang and seem to date back no further than late 1960s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bot in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. The parasitic larva of a botfly.
  2. bots A disease of mammals, especially cattle and horses, caused by infestation of the stomach or intestines with botfly larvae.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

bot in Science


  1. A software program that imitates the behavior of a human, as by querying search engines or participating in chatroom discussions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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