[ shoo-string ]
See synonyms for shoestring on
  1. a shoelace.

  2. a very small amount of money.

  1. shoestrings. shoestring potatoes.

  1. consisting of or characterized by a small amount of money: living on a shoestring budget.

Origin of shoestring

First recorded in 1610–20; shoe + string Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shoestring in a sentence

  • Clarke had saved the game for Pittsburg in the sixth inning by a shoe-string.

    Pitching in a Pinch | Christy Mathewson
  • She adores the pages that tell how to evolve your entire spring outfit from a shoe-string and a strip of left-over embroidery.

    Mary Ware in Texas | Annie F. Johnston
  • They have no sense of honor and their idea of speculation is to invest a shoe string with an idea of securing a tannery.

    Nat Goodwin's Book | Nat C. Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for shoestring


/ (ˈʃuːˌstrɪŋ) /

  1. another word for shoelace

  2. informal

    • a very small or petty amount of money (esp in the phrase on a shoestring)

    • (as modifier): a shoestring budget

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with shoestring


see on a shoestring.

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