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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make, sell, or transport (alcoholic liquor) for sale illegally.
  • transitive v. To produce, distribute, or sell without permission or illegally: a clandestine outfit that bootlegs compact discs and tapes.
  • intransitive v. To engage in the bootlegging of alcoholic liquor or another product.
  • intransitive v. To attach a transmitter to a dish antenna, creating an uplink via which a signal is sent to a satellite without the knowledge of the satellite's owner.
  • intransitive v. Football To fake a hand-off, conceal the ball on the hip, and roll out in order to pass or especially to rush around the end. Used of a quarterback.
  • n. A product, especially alcoholic liquor, that is illicitly produced, distributed, or sold.
  • n. The part of a boot above the instep.
  • n. Football A play in which the quarterback bootlegs.
  • adj. Produced, sold, or transported illegally: bootleg gin; bootleg tapes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make, transport and/or sell illegal alcoholic liquor
  • v. to make, transport and/or sell an illegal version or copy of a copyright product
  • v. to engage in bootlegging
  • n. The part of a boot that is above the instep
  • n. An illegally produced, transported or sold product; contraband
  • n. A play in which the quarterback fakes a handoff, conceals the ball against his hip, and rolls out.
  • adj. illegally produced, transported or sold; pirated

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. distributed or sold illicitly; especially, imported illegally.
  • v. to sell illicit products such as drugs or alcohol.
  • v. to produce alcohol illegally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The part of a boot above the upper; leather cut out for the leg of a boot.
  • n. One of the levers connected with the winding mechanism of a spinning-mule: so named from its shape.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. sell illicit products such as drugs or alcohol
  • v. produce or distribute illegally
  • n. whiskey illegally distilled from a corn mash
  • adj. distributed or sold illicitly
  • n. the part of a boot above the instep


From a smuggler's practice of carrying liquor in the legs of boots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from the carrying of bottles of smuggled spirit in the legs of boots (Wiktionary)


  • For the sake of sanity, radio shows and other broadcasts are lumped in with "bootlegs" -- the term bootleg is taken to be anything not released by the band on one of its official record companies.

    DISCOGRAPHY: Genesis, by Scott McMahan

  • Since there has never been an official home entertainment release, this rarely-seen work has turned up in bootleg versions.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • Three cigarette commercials have been circulating in bootleg channels for years.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • No way a bootleg is gong to capture the energy of that show.

    Last Night « PubliCola

  • Piracy, as in bootleg sales of CD ` s and DVD ` s.

    If King Kong could only speak …

  • The film is among the most conspicuous titles in bootleg circulation, so Cher fans will have no problems tracking it down.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • He was sometimes a hard man, something born perhaps of working during the Depression on what are known as bootleg pits - unlicensed coal mines where he often, with a couple of his brothers, would work eight hours with a pick and shovel, then spend eight more hours guarding piles of coal they had mined from desperate and hungry thieves.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • By the way, I'm happy to announce to those lazy bastards who haven't bought seats, that if they go to the foyer or the shop next to the theater, we are putting out the official bootleg, which is me singing all the Spamalot demos, which will be out for a few weeks before the cast album is available.

    Chicago Reader

  • He finally understood the excitement he had witnessed as a child when the "bootleg" seminars were being held in the family's home.

    Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco : The Fox

  • De Vos was famous around Berkeley for what he labeled his free-wheeling extra-curricular "bootleg" seminars-which he held in the little WWII vintage green bungalow across from Kroeber Hall-as well as in his gracious Berkeley Hills home.

    Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco : The Fox


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  • bootleg = illegal

    May 14, 2009

  • Jeremire taught me this word when we talked about movie.

    May 14, 2009