[ boots ]
/ buts /

noun, plural boots. British.

a servant, as at a hotel, who blacks or polishes shoes and boots.

Origin of boots

1615–25; plural of boot1; see -s3

Definition for boots (2 of 4)

[ boot ]
/ but /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Computers. to start a computer or program, or be started in this way (often followed by up): My laptop won't boot and shows a blank screen.

Origin of boot

1275–1325; Middle English bote < Anglo-French, Old French; of uncertain origin

Definition for boots (3 of 4)

[ boot ]
/ but /


Archaic. something given into the bargain.
  1. advantage.
  2. remedy; relief; help.

verb (used with or without object)

Archaic. to be of profit, advantage, or avail (to): It boots thee not to complain.

Origin of boot

before 1000; Middle English bote, Old English bōt advantage; cognate with Dutch boete, German Busse, Old Norse bōt, Gothic bota; see bet1, better1

Definition for boots (4 of 4)

[ boot ]
/ but /

noun Archaic.

booty; spoil; plunder.

Origin of boot

1585–95; special use of boot2 by association with booty1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boots

British Dictionary definitions for boots (1 of 3)

/ (buːts) /

noun plural boots

British (formerly) a shoeblack who cleans the guests' shoes in a hotel

British Dictionary definitions for boots (2 of 3)

/ (buːt) /



See also boots

Word Origin for boot

C14 bote, from Old French, of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for boots (3 of 3)

/ (buːt) /

verb (usually impersonal)

archaic to be of advantage or use to (a person)what boots it to complain?


obsolete an advantage
dialect something given in addition, esp to equalize an exchangea ten pound boot to settle the bargain
to boot as well; in additionit's cold and musty, and damp to boot

Word Origin for boot

Old English bōt compensation; related to Old Norse bōt remedy, Gothic bōta, Old High German buoza improvement
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

Idioms and Phrases with boots


In addition to the idioms beginning with boot

  • boot out
  • boot up

also see:

  • die with one's boots on
  • get the ax (boot)
  • kick (boot) out
  • lick someone's boots
  • pull oneself up (by the bootstraps)
  • quake in one's boots
  • to boot
  • too big for one's breeches (boots)
  • you can bet your ass (boots)

Also see undershoe.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.