Definition of bootleg in English:


Line breaks: boot|leg
Pronunciation: /ˈbuːtlɛɡ


(Of alcoholic drink or a recording) made, distributed, or sold illegally: bootleg cassettes
More example sentences
  • Alcohol was banned, yet many drank bootleg vodka.
  • Scotland's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Andrew Fraser, warned anyone drinking the bootleg vodka could be in serious danger.
  • In March, one woman died and another was left seriously ill after drinking bootleg vodka.

verb (bootlegs, bootlegging, bootlegged)

[with object] Back to top  
Make, distribute, or sell (alcoholic drink or a recording) illegally: (as noun bootlegging) bootlegging is rife in America
More example sentences
  • They bootlegged liquor during the depression, then went legit.
  • Trading standards bosses at North Yorkshire County Council say that over the past year, they have discovered a number of pubs putting bootlegged whisky, vodka and rum in popular branded bottles.
  • It's also expected to cut down on the import of cheaper, bootlegged alcohol by lowering the cost of buying legally-ordered supplies.


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An illegal musical recording, especially one made at a concert.
More example sentences
  • In an effort to transcend the dodgy sound quality and high prices of bootlegs, the band has recorded every concert over the past three years.
  • ‘Your article focused on the dance community, but many of us are rock music fans and happen to buy concert bootlegs.’
  • This is one of those Italian bootlegs of live concerts.


late 19th century: from the smugglers' practice of concealing bottles in their boots.



More example sentences
  • But there is still access to caves along the beach area once used by bootleggers during prohibition to smuggle in illegal booze from offshore boats.
  • Pubs, clubs and people's homes were still the most common places for bootleggers to sell illicit goods.
  • A bootlegger was today behind bars for his part in smuggling £1.6m worth of cigarettes into the country.

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Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
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