a loop of leather or cloth sewn at the top rear, or sometimes on each side, of a boot to facilitate pulling it on.
a means of advancing oneself or accomplishing something: He used his business experience as a bootstrap to win voters.
relying entirely on one's efforts and resources: The business was a bootstrap operation for the first ten years.
self-generating or self-sustaining: a bootstrap process.
verb (used with object), bootstrapped, bootstrapping.
Computers. boot1 ( def 24 ).
to help (oneself) without the aid of others: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college.
pull oneself up by one's bootstraps, to help oneself without the aid of others; use one's resources: I admire him for pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.

1890–95; boot1 + strap Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
bootstrap (ˈbuːtˌstræp)
1.  a leather or fabric loop on the back or side of a boot for pulling it on
2.  by one's bootstraps, by one's own bootstraps by one's own efforts; unaided
3.  (modifier) self-acting or self-sufficient, as an electronic amplifier that uses its output voltage to bias its input
4.  a.  Also: boot a technique for loading the first few program instructions into a computer main store to enable the rest of the program to be introduced from an input device
 b.  (as modifier): a bootstrap loader
5.  commerce an offer to purchase a controlling interest in a company, esp with the intention of purchasing the remainder of the equity at a lower price
vb , -straps, -strapping, -strapped
6.  to set up or achieve (something) using minimal resources
7.  (foll by to) to attach (something) to a larger or more important thing

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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