• synonyms


  1. a person who shines shoes and boots for a living.
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Origin of bootblack

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20; boot1 + black
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bootblack

Historical Examples

  • One of the servants, named Tom, was the bootblack of the hotel.

    The Expressman and the Detective

    Allan Pinkerton

  • He can be a bootblack, a servant, a barber, perhaps a teamster.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • He was finally carried to bed in the custody of the bootblack.

    City Crimes


  • She did not recognize him, having no idea that it was Tom the bootblack.

    Tom, The Bootblack

    Horatio Alger

  • It makes all the difference between a young gentleman and a bootblack.

    Tom, The Bootblack

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for bootblack


  1. mainly US another word for shoeblack
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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