Pronunciation: (bt'strap"), [key]
— n., adj., v., -strapped, -strap•ping.
- 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.
- to help oneself without the aid of others; use one's resources: I admire him for pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.
- 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.
- boot (def. 26).
- to help (oneself&hasp;) without the aid of others: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.