boot·​less | \ ˈbüt-ləs How to pronounce bootless (audio) \

Definition of bootless

: useless, unprofitable a bootless attempt

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Other Words from bootless

bootlessly adverb
bootlessness noun

Did You Know?

This sense of "bootless" has nothing to do with footwear. The "boot" in this case is an obsolete noun that meant "use" or "avail." That "boot" descended from Old English "bōt" and is ultimately related to our modern word better, whose remote Germanic ancestor meant literally "of more use." Of course, English does also see the occasional use of "bootless" to mean simply "lacking boots," as Anne Brontë used the word in Agnes Grey (1847): "And what would their parents think of me, if they saw or heard the children rioting, hatless, bonnetless, gloveless, and bootless, in the deep soft snow?"

Examples of bootless in a Sentence

a bootless effort to get tickets to the sold-out game

First Known Use of bootless

1559, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bootless

boot entry 1

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Time Traveler for bootless

Time Traveler

The first known use of bootless was in 1559

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Cite this Entry

“Bootless.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on bootless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bootless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bootless

Comments on bootless

What made you want to look up bootless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assail by words or arguments

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