Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1900-2000
Origin: bootstrap 'piece of leather or cloth attached to the back of a boot to make it easier to pull on' (19-20 centuries)

bootstraps

noun
     
boot‧straps [plural]

pull/haul yourself up by your bootstraps

to improve your position and get out of a difficult situation by your own efforts, without help from other people

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary