Definition of shoestring in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈSHo͞oˌstriNG/


1 informal A small or inadequate budget: they proved capable of producing high-quality material on a shoestring [as modifier]: a shoestring budget
More example sentences
  • Most B&B owners aren't millionaires, we run our budget on a shoestring so this is desperate for us.
  • Having proven his ability to operate successfully on a shoestring budget he is regarded as a prime candidate to return to the cash-strapped club he served for many years.
  • With only $24 million at her disposal, less than 2% of the UN's budget, she is operating on a shoestring and facing problems that would have daunted Sisyphus.
2North American A shoelace.
Example sentences
  • My fingers stumble a little as I knot the shoestring into a bow, like dancers in an unfamiliar routine.
  • Several of the drawings were laced together with shoestrings in primitive book form.
  • He ties rope, old shoestring, clothes hangers around his waist to keep his pants up.


[attributive] North American
(Of a save or tackle in sports) near or around the ankles or feet, or just above the ground.
Example sentences
  • Over 600 individual animations are in the game, allowing everything from shoestring catches to wrap tackles.
  • But Hansen got back onto his feet in the blink of an eye, somehow got downfield, and dove to make a game-saving, shoestring tackle at the seven-yard line.
  • Not a shoestring tackle - I'm talking pads on pads.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: shoe·string

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