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Meaning of bootstrap

boot•strap

Pronunciation: (bt'strap"), [key]
— n., adj., v., -strapped, -strap•ping.
—n.
  1. a loop of leather or cloth sewn at the top rear, or sometimes on each side, of a boot to facilitate pulling it on.
  2. a means of advancing oneself or accomplishing something: He used his business experience as a bootstrap to win voters.
  3. to help oneself without the aid of others; use one's resources: I admire him for pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.
—adj.
  1. relying entirely on one's efforts and resources: The business was a bootstrap operation for the first ten years.
  2. self-generating or self-sustaining: a bootstrap process.
—v.t.
  1. boot (def. 26).
  2. 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.
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