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[shoo-string] /ˈʃuˌstrɪŋ/
a shoelace.
a very small amount of money.
shoestrings, shoestring potatoes.
consisting of or characterized by a small amount of money:
living on a shoestring budget.
Origin of shoestring
First recorded in 1610-20; shoe + string Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shoe-string
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He heard, and, loosening his shoe-string, drew a shoe from his foot and looked at the sole.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • She was speechless, because she had just crammed an entire licorice 'shoe-string' into her mouth.

    Atlantic Narratives Mary Antin
  • To the length of his shoe-string and the color of his doublet.

    Sir Christopher Maud Wilder Goodwin
  • Clarke had saved the game for Pittsburg in the sixth inning by a shoe-string.

    Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
  • Say, didn't you never have to tie up your hair with a shoe-string?

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • I never bought nothin' new for any of my feet, not even a shoe-string.

  • He'll be king of the shoe-string peddlers—the walking delegate of the Hobos' Union!

    The Pot Boiler Upton Sinclair
  • He was fond of noting types, and of watching the sandwich-men, beggars, and shoe-string venders.

    The Short Line War Samuel Merwin
British Dictionary definitions for shoe-string


another word for shoelace
  1. a very small or petty amount of money (esp in the phrase on a shoestring)
  2. (as modifier): a shoestring budget
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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Word Origin and History for shoe-string

1610s, from shoe (n.) + string (n.). As figurative for "a small amount" it is recorded from 1882; as a type of necktie, from 1903; as a style of cooked potatoes from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shoe-string



Tight; low-cost: shoestring budget

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with shoe-string


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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