[ boot-lik ]
/ ˈbutˌlɪk /

verb (used with object)

to seek the favor or goodwill of in a servile, degraded way; toady to.

verb (used without object)

to be a toady.

Origin of bootlick

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45; boot1 + lick
Related formsboot·lick·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boot-licker

  • You'll see what a boot-licker he'll be after he puts on a collar.

    The Quest|Frederik van Eeden

British Dictionary definitions for boot-licker


/ (ˈbuːtˌlɪk) /


informal to seek favour by servile or ingratiating behaviour towards (someone, esp someone in authority); toady
Derived Formsbootlicker, noun
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 boot-licker



also bootlicker, "toady, servile follower," 1846, from boot (n.1) + agent noun from lick (v.). Foot-licker in the same sense is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper