1. A loop of leather, cloth, or synthetic material that is sewn at the side or the top rear of a boot to help in pulling the boot on.
2. An instance of starting of a computer; a boot.
3. Statistics A method of estimating a population's characteristics (such as its mean) by repeatedly subsampling from a given initial sample, thereby avoiding the use of theoretical probability distributions.
tr.v. boot·strapped, boot·strap·ping, boot·straps
1. To promote and develop by use of one's own initiative and work without reliance on outside help: "We've bootstrapped our way back with aggressive tourism and recruiting high tech industries" (John Corrigan).
2. Statistics To gather information about a population from a single sample, using repeated samples drawn with replacement.
3. Computers To boot (a computer).
1. Undertaken or accomplished with minimal outside help.
2. Being or relating to a process that is self-initiating or self-sustaining.
by (one's) (own) bootstraps
By one's own efforts.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.