verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Computers. to start a computer or program, or be started in this way (often followed by up): My laptop won't boot and shows a blank screen.


    bet your boots, to be sure or certain: You can bet your boots that I'll be there!
    die with one's boots on,
    1. to die while actively engaged in one's work, profession, etc.
    2. to die fighting, especially in battle, or in some worthy cause.
    Also especially British, die in one's boots.
    get a boot, Informal. to derive keen enjoyment: I really got a boot out of his ridiculous stories.

Origin of boot

1275–1325; Middle English bote < Anglo-French, Old French; of uncertain origin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bet your boots




a strong outer covering for the foot; shoe that extends above the ankle, often to the kneeSee also chukka boot, top boot, Wellington boots, surgical boot
an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc, usually at the rearUS and Canadian name: trunk
a protective covering over a mechanical device, such as a rubber sheath protecting a coupling joining two shafts
US and 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 kickhe gave the door a boot
British 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 (def. 4a)
bet one's boots to be certainyou 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
put the boot in slang
  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
the boot slang dismissal from employment; the sack
the boot is on the other foot or the boot is on the other leg the situation is or has now reversed
too big for one's boots self-important or conceited


(tr) (esp in football) to kick
(tr) to equip with boots
(tr) 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 for boot

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 exchangea ten pound boot to settle the bargain
to boot as well; in additionit's cold and musty, and damp to boot

Word Origin for boot

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

Word Origin and History for bet your boots



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).



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bet your boots


In addition to the idioms beginning with boot

  • boot out
  • boot up

also see:

  • die with one's boots on
  • get the ax (boot)
  • kick (boot) out
  • lick someone's boots
  • pull oneself up (by the bootstraps)
  • quake in one's boots
  • to boot
  • too big for one's breeches (boots)
  • you can bet your ass (boots)

Also see undershoe.

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