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[boot] /but/
Archaic. something given into the bargain.
  1. advantage.
  2. remedy; relief; help.
verb (used with or without object)
Archaic. to be of profit, advantage, or avail (to):
It boots thee not to complain.
to boot, in addition; besides:
We received an extra week's pay to boot.
Origin of boot2
before 1000; Middle English bote, Old English bōt advantage; cognate with Dutch boete, German Busse, Old Norse bōt, Gothic bota; see bet1, better1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for to boot


a strong outer covering for the foot; shoe that extends above the ankle, often to the knee See also chukka boot, top boot, Wellington boots, surgical boot
an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc, usually at the rear US and Canadian name trunk
a protective covering over a mechanical device, such as a rubber sheath protecting a coupling joining two shafts
(US & Canadian) a rubber patch used to repair a puncture in a tyre
an instrument of torture used to crush the foot and lower leg
a protective covering for the lower leg of a horse
a kick: he gave the door a boot
(Brit, slang) an ugly person (esp in the phrase old boot)
(US, slang) a navy or marine recruit, esp one in training
(computing) short for bootstrap (sense 4a)
bet one's boots, to be certain: you can bet your boots he'll come
die with one's boots on
  1. to die while still active
  2. to die in battle
lick the boots of, to be servile, obsequious, or flattering towards
(slang) put the boot in
  1. to kick a person, esp when he or she is already down
  2. to harass someone or aggravate a problem
  3. to finish off (something) with unnecessary brutality
(slang) the boot, dismissal from employment; the sack
the boot is on the other foot, the boot is on the other leg, the situation is or has now reversed
too big for one's boots, self-important or conceited
(transitive) (esp in football) to kick
(transitive) to equip with boots
(transitive) (informal)
  1. (often foll by out) to eject forcibly
  2. to dismiss from employment
Also boot up. to start up the operating system of (a computer) or (of a computer) to begin operating
See also boots
Word Origin
C14 bote, from Old French, of uncertain origin


verb (usually impersonal)
(archaic) to be of advantage or use to (a person): what boots it to complain?
(obsolete) an advantage
(dialect) something given in addition, esp to equalize an exchange: a ten pound boot to settle the bargain
to boot, as well; in addition: it's cold and musty, and damp to boot
Word Origin
Old English bōt compensation; related to Old Norse bōt remedy, Gothic bōta, Old High German buoza improvement
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 to boot



footwear, early 14c., from Old French bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Provençal and Spanish, of unknown origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Originally for riding boots only. An old Dorsetshire word for "half-boots" was skilty-boots [Halliwell, Wright].

"profit, use," Old English bot "help, relief, advantage; atonement," literally "a making better," from Proto-Germanic *boto (see better (adj.)). Cf. German Buße "penance, atonement," Gothic botha "advantage." Now mostly in phrase to boot (Old English to bote).


"to kick," 1877, American English, from boot (n.1). Generalized sense of "eject, kick out" is from 1880. Related: Booted; booting.

"start up a computer," 1975, from bootstrap (v.), a 1958 derived verb from bootstrap (n.) in the computer sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for to boot

to boot

adverb phrase

In addition; in extra measure: She has fire him

[entry form 1813+, variant 1895+; fr the mark or line indicating the starting point of a race]



  1. : Give him a boot in the ass (1940s+)
  2. : Dark atoned for his boot by making a good play on Kiner's slow roller
  3. A thrill; surge of pleasure; bang, kick: I get a boot from boats (1930+)
  4. A recruit (1900+ Navy & Marine Corps)
  5. A black person (1950s+ Black)
  6. (also Denver boot) A metal locking device put on the wheels of a scofflaw's car to prevent driving (late 1960s+)


  1. To kick, esp to give a hard kick: Let's boot a football around (1870s+)
  2. To discharge; eject; fire, sack (1880s+)
  3. (also boot away)To lose or waste by incompetence, inattention, etc; botch; bungle; blow: I booted three good chances (1950s+)
  4. To commit an error, esp in handling a ground ball (1900s+ Baseball)
  5. (also backtrack) To inject a narcotic gradually by pulling back and reinjecting blood again and again to increase the drug's effect: The technique, known as ''booting,'' is believed to prolong the drug's initial effect (1960s+ Narcotics)
  6. boot up (1980+ Computer)

Related Terms

hardboot, rubber boots, to boot

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 to boot

to boot

Besides, in addition. For example, It rained every day and it was cold to boot, or He said they'd lower the price of the car by $1,000 and throw in air conditioning to boot. This expression has nothing to do with footwear. Boot here is an archaic noun meaning “advantage,” and in the idiom has been broadened to include anything additional, good or bad. [ c. a.d. 1000 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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