Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

bootleg

[boot-leg]
See more synonyms for bootleg on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. alcoholic liquor unlawfully made, sold, or transported, without registration or payment of taxes.
  2. the part of a boot that covers the leg.
  3. something, as a recording, made, reproduced, or sold illegally or without authorization: a flurry of bootlegs to cash in on the rock star's death.
Show More
verb (used with object), boot·legged, boot·leg·ging.
  1. to deal in (liquor or other goods) unlawfully.
Show More
verb (used without object), boot·legged, boot·leg·ging.
  1. to make, transport, or sell something, especially liquor, illegally or without registration or payment of taxes.
Show More
adjective
  1. made, sold, or transported unlawfully.
  2. illegal or clandestine.
  3. of or relating to bootlegging.
Show More

Origin of bootleg

1625–35, Americanism; boot1 + leg; secondary senses arose from practice of hiding a liquor bottle in the leg of one's boot
Related formsboot·leg·ger, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

contraband, illicit, unauthorized, pirated, bootlegged, unlawful, unofficial, black-market, under-the-counter, unsanctioned

Examples from the Web for bootleg

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for bootleg

bootleg

verb -legs, -legging or -legged
  1. to make, carry, or sell (illicit goods, esp alcohol)
Show More
noun
  1. something made or sold illicitly, such as alcohol during Prohibition in the US
  2. an illegally made copy of a CD, tape, etc
Show More
adjective
  1. produced, distributed, or sold illicitlybootleg whisky; bootleg tapes
Show More
Derived Formsbootlegger, noun

Word Origin

C17: see boot 1, leg; from the practice of smugglers of carrying bottles of liquor concealed in their boots
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 bootleg

n.

"leg of a boot," 1630s, from boot (n.1) + leg (n.). As an adjective in reference to illegal iquor, 1889, American English slang, from the trick of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. Before that the bootleg was the place to secret knives and pistols.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper