Word of the Day

Thursday, June 29, 2000


\BOOT-lis\ , adjective;
Unavailing; useless; without advantage or benefit.
I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide.
-- Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III
A noble intention, a decent attempt to bust bigger heads than their own with their best weapons, but bootless and, ultimately, senseless, too.
-- Gordon Monson, "Ute Defense Headlines Bland Game", Salt Lake Tribune, September 1, 2002
A crew of divers was scheduled to start cleaning the seaweed off the net in preparation for winter, although now it seemed like a bootless task, given that Keiko might never come back.
-- Susan Orlean, "Where's Willy?", The New Yorker, September 16, 2002
Late in the nineteenth century there had been a bootless competition between Munich and Berlin as to which was more modern, more civilized.
-- Peter Gay, My German Question
Bootless is from Old English bot, "advantage, profit" + -less, from Old English from leas, "without."
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