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

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 Despite a coronavirus uptick that has transformed Central Florida into the COVID-iest place on the Earth, the NBA appears set to reboot its season late next month at the Disney World complex. Jeff Mcdonald,, "For San Antonio Spurs, trip to Disney World is for the youngsters," 27 June 2020 On Tuesday, the employment department had to reboot its phone system due to a technical error, dropping the calls of every person on hold. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Frustrations mount for 70,000 self-employed Oregonians still awaiting jobless benefits," 24 June 2020 And in Phoenix, the president is trying to reboot the enthusiastic campaign rallies, such as his Feb. 19 visit to Phoenix. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "When Trump returns to Arizona next week, he'll share spotlight with COVID-19," 19 June 2020 Monday China’s business-activity report for May is expected to reflect a slow recovery amid Beijing’s efforts to reboot its economy. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Economy Week Ahead: Central Banks, Industrial Production, Retail Sales," 14 June 2020 The camera and mic kill switches were enabled and disabled, respectively; either can be toggled without the need to reboot afterward. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Pinebook Pro review—a $200 FOSS-to-the-hilt magnesium-chassis laptop," 9 June 2020 China is turning to its street vendors to help reboot the economy after the coronavirus. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "China’s Street Vendors Serve Up Stock Bubbles, Piping Hot," 4 June 2020 After shutdowns to contain the virus outbreak, governments around Europe are now fine tuning measures to protect companies and jobs, and working on how to reboot their economies in the aftermath. William Horobin,, "French Government Sees Economy Shrinking 11% This Year," 2 June 2020 Taiwan’s pro baseball league rebooted operations in mid-April with robot spectators filling the bleachers. Josh Woods, The Conversation, "How lingering fears from the pandemic could change the way we watch and play sports," 22 May 2020

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 at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reboot

Time Traveler

The first known use of reboot was in 1971

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Statistics for reboot

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reboot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for reboot


How to pronounce reboot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reboot

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on reboot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reboot

Spanish Central: Translation of reboot

Nglish: Translation of reboot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reboot for Arabic Speakers

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