Nearby words

  1. bootjack,
  2. bootlace,
  3. bootlace fungus,
  4. bootlace worm,
  5. bootle,
  6. bootleg play,
  7. bootlegged,
  8. bootlegger,
  9. bootlegging,
  10. bootless

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bootlegging

British Dictionary definitions for bootlegging


/ (ˈbuːtˌlɛɡ) /

verb -legs, -legging or -legged

to make, carry, or sell (illicit goods, esp alcohol)


something made or sold illicitly, such as alcohol during Prohibition in the US
an illegally made copy of a CD, tape, etc


produced, distributed, or sold illicitlybootleg whisky; bootleg tapes
Derived Formsbootlegger, noun

Word Origin for bootleg

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 bootlegging
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper