[ boot-blak ]

  1. a person who shines shoes and boots for a living.

Origin of bootblack

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20; boot1 + black

Words Nearby bootblack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bootblack in a sentence

  • The mountain lad, though but half comprehending the bootblack's meaning, was aware that he was being made game of.

    Ralph Granger's Fortunes | William Perry Brown
  • From the Cittadella School there was a bootblack whom my father knew, and the prefect gave him a diploma.

    Cuore (Heart) | Edmondo De Amicis
  • The chair of the bootblack had been splintered into kindling wood.

    The Sheriff's Son | William MacLeod Raine
  • At the junction of Wall and New Streets he came suddenly upon a large-sized bootblack, whose face looked familiar.

    Helping Himself | Horatio Alger
  • Opposite the tent of the bootblack he halted and started back again, where the path lay clear in the moonlight.

    On Guard | Upton Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for bootblack


/ (ˈbuːtˌblæk) /

  1. mainly US another word for shoeblack

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