Pronunciation: (bOOt'strap"), [key]
—n., adj., v., -strapped, -strap•ping.
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. 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.
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.
1. Computers.boot1 (def. 26).
2. to help (oneself) without the aid of others: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.