[ boot-strap ]
/ ˈbutˌstræp /


a loop of leather or cloth sewn at the top rear, or sometimes on each side, of a boot to facilitate pulling it on.
a means of advancing oneself or accomplishing something: He used his business experience as a bootstrap to win voters.


relying entirely on one's efforts and resources: The business was a bootstrap operation for the first ten years.
self-generating or self-sustaining: a bootstrap process.

verb (used with object), boot·strapped, boot·strap·ping.

Computers. boot1(defs 24, 28).
to help (oneself) without the aid of others: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college.

Idioms for bootstrap

    pull (oneself) up by (one's) bootstraps, to help oneself without the aid of others; use one's resources: I admire him for pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.

Origin of bootstrap

First recorded in 1890–95; boot1 + strap Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for bootstrap

British Dictionary definitions for bootstrap

/ (ˈbuːtˌstræp) /


verb -straps, -strapping or -strapped (tr)

to set up or achieve (something) using minimal resources
(foll by to) to attach (something) to a larger or more important thing
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