See more synonyms for boot on
verb (used with or without object)
  1. Archaic. to be of profit, advantage, or avail (to): It boots thee not to complain.
  1. to boot, in addition; besides: We received an extra week's pay to boot.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for to boot


  1. a strong outer covering for the foot; shoe that extends above the ankle, often to the kneeSee also chukka boot, top boot, Wellington boots, surgical boot
  2. an enclosed compartment of a car for holding luggage, etc, usually at the rearUS and Canadian name: trunk
  3. a protective covering over a mechanical device, such as a rubber sheath protecting a coupling joining two shafts
  4. US and Canadian a rubber patch used to repair a puncture in a tyre
  5. an instrument of torture used to crush the foot and lower leg
  6. a protective covering for the lower leg of a horse
  7. a kickhe gave the door a boot
  8. British slang an ugly person (esp in the phrase old boot)
  9. US slang a navy or marine recruit, esp one in training
  10. computing short for bootstrap (def. 4a)
  11. bet one's boots to be certainyou can bet your boots he'll come
  12. See boots and all
  13. die with one's boots on
    1. to die while still active
    2. to die in battle
  14. lick the boots of to be servile, obsequious, or flattering towards
  15. put the boot in slang
    1. to kick a person, esp when he or she is already down
    2. to harass someone or aggravate a problem
    3. to finish off (something) with unnecessary brutality
  16. the boot slang dismissal from employment; the sack
  17. the boot is on the other foot or the boot is on the other leg the situation is or has now reversed
  18. too big for one's boots self-important or conceited
  1. (tr) (esp in football) to kick
  2. (tr) to equip with boots
  3. (tr) informal
    1. (often foll by out)to eject forcibly
    2. to dismiss from employment
  4. Also: boot up to start up the operating system of (a computer) or (of a computer) to begin operating
See also boots

Word Origin for boot

C14 bote, from Old French, of uncertain origin


verb (usually impersonal)
  1. archaic to be of advantage or use to (a person)what boots it to complain?
  1. obsolete an advantage
  2. dialect something given in addition, esp to equalize an exchangea ten pound boot to settle the bargain
  3. 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

Word Origin and History for to boot



footwear, early 14c., from Old French bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Provençal and Spanish, of unknown origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Originally for riding boots only. An old Dorsetshire word for "half-boots" was skilty-boots [Halliwell, Wright].



"profit, use," Old English bot "help, relief, advantage; atonement," literally "a making better," from Proto-Germanic *boto (see better (adj.)). Cf. German Buße "penance, atonement," Gothic botha "advantage." Now mostly in phrase to boot (Old English to bote).



"start up a computer," 1975, from bootstrap (v.), a 1958 derived verb from bootstrap (n.) in the computer sense.



"to kick," 1877, American English, from boot (n.1). Generalized sense of "eject, kick out" is from 1880. Related: Booted; booting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with to boot

to boot

Besides, in addition. For example, It rained every day and it was cold to boot, or He said they'd lower the price of the car by $1,000 and throw in air conditioning to boot. This expression has nothing to do with footwear. Boot here is an archaic noun meaning “advantage,” and in the idiom has been broadened to include anything additional, good or bad. [c. a.d. 1000]


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.