re·​boot | \(ˌ)rē-ˈbüt \

Definition of reboot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a transitive + intransitive : to shut down and restart (a computer or program) … the annoyance of having to reboot the computer to switch operating systems …— Robert Weston If anything ever happens to the original drive, you can reboot using the cloned drive and be up and running in minutes.— Dan Frakes

b intransitive : to start up again after closing or shutting down : to boot up again waiting for a computer/program to reboot

2a transitive : to start (something) anew : to refresh (something) by making a new start or creating a new version It's probably not an overstatement to say Sandberg is embarking on the most ambitious mission to reboot feminism and reframe discussions of gender since the launch of Ms. magazine in 1971.— Belinda Luscombe reboot an old TV series

b intransitive : to start anew : to make a fresh start The interior designer's heart was telling her to reboot and downsize …— Susan Heeger


re·​boot | \ˈrē-ˌbüt \
plural reboots

Definition of reboot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of shutting down and restarting something (such as a computer or program) In a few cases, errors cause a headlong exit to DOS or the software ceases to operate, requiring a reboot.— George F. Hepner

2 : the act or an instance of starting (something) anew or making a fresh start In a massive reboot last fall, all 200 rooms were done up in geometric rugs and curvy leather headboards.— Jen Murphy

Examples of reboot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The upstart 5 Star Movement and the hard-right League sealed an agreement Friday that seeks to reboot one of Europe’s most troubled economies with a mix of euroskeptic economic policies and tens of billions in tax cuts and stimulus spending. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s Upstart Parties Set Possible Collision Course With Europe," 18 May 2018 The Justice Department said in a statement the same day that the VPNFilter campaign was led by a group linked to Russia and the FBI later asked owners of routers to reboot their devices to help stop the malware. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Facebook controversies could spark support for privacy bills in Congress," 7 June 2018 Many of the cast members also struggled to reboot their lives and careers after the series ended. John Boyd, Houston Chronicle, "'Saved By the Bell' cast then & now: 25 years since the final original NBC episode aired," 4 June 2018 The feeling among the scientists is that these chemicals allow us to essentially reboot the brain. Mandy Oaklander, Time, "This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs," 16 May 2018 Amazing news for '90s kids—Nickelodeon is hoping to reboot its classic show, Clarissa Explains It All. Amy Mackelden, Marie Claire, "Nickelodeon Is Planning a 'Clarissa Explains It All' Reboot," 16 Mar. 2018 Buehler threw three innings for class-A Rancho Cucamonga as the team rebooted his return from a microfracture in his ribcage. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers acquire Cincinnati reliever Dylan Floro to bolster bullpen," 4 July 2018 Witherspoon has been talking about the possibility of rebooting the franchise for years. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Reese Witherspoon Just Confirmed That Legally Blonde 3 Is Happening," 7 June 2018 Cisco said users can disable the malware beyond its first stage by rebooting their routers. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: The FBI is trying to thwart a massive Russia-linked hacking campaign," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reboot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reboot


1971, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1980, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for reboot

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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The first known use of reboot was in 1971

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