boot·​leg·​ger | \ ˈbüt-ˌle-gər How to pronounce bootlegger (audio) , -ˌlā- \
plural bootleggers

Definition of bootlegger

: one who bootlegs something: such as
a : a person who makes or sells alcoholic liquor illegally … in sleepy little St-Hilaire, once a Prohibition boom town, from which bootleggers smuggled truckloads of whisky into the U.S. …— Will Ferguson Most of us associate the pocket flask with the Roaring Twenties era of the bootlegger and the speakeasy …— Linda Rosenkrantz
b : a person who produces, reproduces, or distributes something (such as a recording) illicitly or without authorization As part of his job, Schoenfeld is charged with ferreting out record bootleggers and protecting the copyright interests of record labels.— Holly Gleason … the conversation ran from how the different companies project returns on direct mail to efforts to crack down on software bootleggers.— Leslie Brokaw

First Known Use of bootlegger

1886, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bootlegger was in 1886

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Cite this Entry

“Bootlegger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on bootlegger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bootlegger

Nglish: Translation of bootlegger for Spanish Speakers

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