re·​boot | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈbüt How to pronounce reboot (audio) \

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 How to pronounce reboot (audio) \
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

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is getting rebooted by HGTV, and the production company just posted its official casting call for the new series. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Here's How You Could Be On HGTV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Reboot," 2 Apr. 2019 The hit reality singing competition returns in March, after famously getting rebooted by ABC last year. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About 'American Idol' Season 17," 24 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, a soothing Ayurvedic massage will reboot body and mind, and a microdermabrasion, laser-toning, and chemical-peeling facial (favored by Angelina Jolie) promises to turn back the clock. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "10 Decadent Beauty Splurges Worthy of Your Tax Return, According to Vogue Editors," 10 Apr. 2019 Researchers at Cisco's Talos have discovered that VPNfilter—the malware that prompted Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to urge people to reboot their Internet routers—carried an even bigger punch than had previously been discovered. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Researchers find Russian “VPNfilter” malware was a Swiss Army hacking knife," 26 Sep. 2018 Market participants are growing confident that the European Central Bank will soon try to boost the eurozone’s ailing economy by rebooting its program of ultracheap long-term loans to the banking system. Pat Minczeski, WSJ, "Markets Warm to the Prospect of an ECB Funding Boost for Banks," 20 Feb. 2019 Oregon looks to reboot, again For the third straight season, Oregon opens up spring camp with a new coach as Mario Cristobal was promoted from within to lead the Ducks following the departure of Willie Taggart to Florida State. Matt Murschel,, "Five storylines to watch in the Pac-12 this spring," 27 Mar. 2018 Following 2016's all-female version of Ghostbusters, and the slew of misogynist trash that was spouted as a result, it's now been announced that the franchise is being rebooted again—but this time, with men. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Leslie Jones Slams New Ghostbusters Movie That Ignores the Female Reboot," 20 Jan. 2019 This frozen memory can be put into a different machine equipped with software to read the memory, or the machine can be rebooted into a different operating system that similarly reads the frozen memory and saves it to disk. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "New modification of the old cold boot attack leaves most systems vulnerable," 13 Sep. 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

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reboot

The first known use of reboot was in 1971

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English Language Learners Definition of reboot

computers : to turn off a computer and then immediately turn it on

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reboot

Spanish Central: Translation of reboot

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Britannica English: Translation of reboot for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reboot

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


using a distributed computer network

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