Definition of bootleg in English:

bootleg

adjective

  • [attributive] (especially of liquor, computer software, or recordings) made, distributed, or sold illegally.

    ‘bootleg cassettes’
    ‘bootleg whiskey’
    • ‘This is the woman who carried on drinking bootleg liquor after Prohibition was lifted because she preferred the taste.’
    • ‘Over 40 years, he has produced something like 40 ‘official’ albums, supplemented by a slew of live LPs and even more bootleg recordings.’
    • ‘Rumours that a bootleg recording of him singing in the hotel bar still exists is just one of the enthralling tales which surround the famous venue.’
    • ‘In March, one woman died and another was left seriously ill after drinking bootleg vodka.’
    • ‘The demand for illicit drugs is as strong as the nation's thirst for bootleg booze during Prohibition.’
    • ‘Rocker-turned-activist Geldof said he had consented to a DVD release of the 1985 concert because of the large number of bootleg recordings available.’
    • ‘Scotland's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Andrew Fraser, warned anyone drinking the bootleg vodka could be in serious danger.’
    • ‘The bootleg booze industry in Boston wasn't affected in the least.’
    • ‘Later, the islands were used as a smuggling stopover for arms in the civil war and for bootleg alcohol during Prohibition.’
    • ‘Alcohol was banned, yet many drank bootleg vodka.’
    • ‘I personally have never seen bootleg alcohol and cigarettes sold from the back of a hatchback as reported.’
    • ‘The move is being proposed in order to clamp down on bootleg whisky, which Brown claims costs the taxpayer £600m a year in lost tax revenue.’
    • ‘This double CD of Ian Hunter's latest tour of Britain in support of his latest official release, the critically acclaimed ‘Rant’, is a bootleg recording.’
    • ‘After two years at college Slim was expelled for selling bootleg whiskey to other students.’
    • ‘I honestly thought it must be some kind of bootleg recording of one of the acoustic shows I did back in the late eighties.’
    • ‘The bootleg alcohol that was produced then, often called gut-rot, tasted so vile that the bartenders learned to mix the alcohol with fruit juices to disguise the taste.’
    • ‘But many Americans, especially in the cities, rejected prohibition; speakeasies flourished and bootleg liquor flowed freely in many municipalities.’
    • ‘The multimillion-pound black market in bootleg films and CDs is thriving because prosecutors let criminals off the hook, it was claimed last night.’
    • ‘There is, of course, the town drunk, Otis, who acquires bootleg liquor from various moonshiners in that dry county on a regular basis and regularly celebrates the anniversary of his first drink.’
    • ‘Perhaps this has to do with the imprecision of live recording, but it almost sounds like a bootleg recording.’
    illegal, illicit, unlawful, unauthorized, unsanctioned, unlicensed, unofficial, pirated
    bootlegged, contraband, smuggled, black-market, under the counter
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make, distribute, or sell (illicit goods, especially liquor, computer software, or recordings) illegally.

    ‘domestic bootlegging was almost impossible to control’
    ‘bootlegged videos’
    • ‘National prohibition provided lucrative illegal markets, which some Italian Americans successfully exploited through bootlegging operations.’
    • ‘They have yet to cut an album, but a group of enterprising kids have recorded their concerts and are selling bootlegged cassettes all over the district at $4 each.’
    • ‘In 2001, 29% of the pirated films seized were on DVD; so far this year 59% have been bootlegged DVDs.’
    • ‘If you see a couple of mic stands being attended by some dude with a rock shirt, that show is probably being bootlegged.’
    • ‘Miles Davis's much bootlegged performances in Poland in the 1980s were signature moments in the decline of Polish Communism, symbols of a yearned-for freedom.’
    • ‘These tapes - amazingly by the standards of Dylan collectors - have never been bootlegged, but can be heard on the BBC documentary.’
    • ‘It's also expected to cut down on the import of cheaper, bootlegged alcohol by lowering the cost of buying legally-ordered supplies.’
    • ‘Recently, their EP fetched over $500 on Ebay from a U.S. collector, with a German label's bootlegging of their unreleased ‘album’ only adding more fuel to the fire.’
    • ‘They bootlegged liquor during the depression, then went legit.’
    • ‘He's been involved in some illegal imports, you know, guns, drugs, bootlegged Metallica T-shirts; but we haven't been able to make anything stick yet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Commerce Secretary Evans, in China, was complaining about bootlegged copies of American movies selling there for about $1.’
    • ‘It's been bootlegged quite a lot though--check out your nearest record fair.’
    • ‘For example, before we went into Louisiana, a lot of people were bootlegging our product into Louisiana, so when we arrived there, people already knew about it.’
    • ‘In a way I look at the fact it was bootlegged as a compliment.’
    • ‘My first real business was bootlegging T-shirts.’
    • ‘They were sold from a number of different accounts and the man did not say they were bootlegged or illegal in any way.’
    • ‘The VCDs are affordable and not bootlegged by illegal manufacturers,’ he said.’
    • ‘So unless someone was helpfully bootlegging it, I don't know how you could hear the whole thing.’
    • ‘I've also spoken to people whose work has been bootlegged.’
    illegal, illicit, unlawful, unauthorized, unsanctioned, unlicensed, unofficial, pirated
    bootlegged, contraband, smuggled, black-market, under the counter
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1An illegal musical recording, especially one made at a concert.

    • ‘The is a hodgepodge of performances that also features a couple of readily available tracks, and the sound quality is for the most part no better than a good bootleg.’
    • ‘Partially broadcast by the BBC in 1982, a bootleg has been circulating ever since.’
    • ‘In a sense the tinny and muddy nature of the production seems natural to the music, suggesting a connection to, say, the early 70s Zappa bootlegs that probably take up an entire wall of his apartment.’
    • ‘Seems ne'er-do-wells are pressing illegal copies of records and then selling bootlegs at much lower prices than official record shops.’
    • ‘I have spent 15 years collecting Beatles bootlegs and am pleased to say that there are many excellent recordings of these sessions.’
    • ‘At least one track has been available on bootlegs for years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, bootlegs of the finished product circulated, generating critical kudos, a groundswell of interest, and a bidding war among nearly 30 other labels.’
    • ‘‘Your article focused on the dance community, but many of us are rock music fans and happen to buy concert bootlegs.’’
    • ‘In a nearby record shop, most of the CDs by Western artists were decent-quality bootlegs.’
    • ‘Fortunately, live bootlegs of the track are readily available to even the most novice trader.’
    • ‘Until last year, my only act of resistance involved trading copies of live shows and bootlegs on the internet.’
    • ‘He owns all the albums as well as several bootlegs.’
    • ‘Much to our chagrin, someone put out a bootleg recorded at rehearsals.’
    • ‘Many of them are bootlegs made by a sneaky soundman or concertgoer and are of a quality dubious enough to repel the casual listener.’
    • ‘When you guys first hit the scene with your bootlegs, record companies gave you lots of flak.’
    • ‘I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in - so the bootlegs I obtained in the Sixties and Seventies, where the noise and grit of the tapes became inseparable from the music, are essential to me.’
    • ‘This is one of those Italian bootlegs of live concerts.’
    • ‘Sometimes I feel like a studio album, other times a live bootleg from a concert I went to.’
    • ‘Now that this is packaged as a real release instead of a bootleg, it comes off as a substandard product.’
    fake, counterfeit, sham, fraud, imitation, dummy, mock-up, reproduction, replica, copy, print, lookalike, likeness
    View synonyms
  • 2American Football
    A play in which the quarterback fakes a handoff and runs with the ball hidden next to his hip.

    ‘he scored on a 29-yard bootleg on fourth down’
    • ‘Garcia runs a bootleg for a touchdown, and the 49ers are back in it.’
    • ‘Still recovering from a broken leg, he can't make certain cuts or bootleg to his left without pain.’
    • ‘It looked like a monumental mistake when he faked a handoff and backpedaled as if to start a naked bootleg, only to find a couple of Saints in his way.’
    • ‘He has proved he can catch 1-yard touchdown passes, but he hasn't shown he can get open when there isn't a play-action fake or bootleg.’
    • ‘David Garrard also has had success on quarterback keepers and bootlegs off of play fakes.’
    • ‘Eli's really good when he can play-action and bootleg.’
    • ‘The Seahawks almost can guarantee they will get single coverage when they play-action to the left and then have Hasselbeck bootleg to his right.’
    • ‘Another problem that hasn't been changed is the inability to set your quarterback off on a scramble or bootleg without crossing the line of scrimmage first.’
    • ‘It's not enough to just drop back in the pocket - you have to create, make things happen, roll out, bootleg.’
    • ‘The way things are going, they're better off passing or running a quarterback sneak or bootleg.’
    • ‘Every time he throws, it needs to stem from the run, whether it's play-action or on bootleg, so he can avoid the pressure and not succumb to it like better quarterbacks have done.’
    • ‘As he continues to improve his pass rush, he must be aware of teams either running screens to his side or using naked bootlegs if the quarterback is mobile.’
    • ‘The beauty of this scheme is that if defenders get wise and increase their backside pursuit, the quarterback can run bootlegs because the defense no longer has anyone to contain the outside perimeter.’
    • ‘Eagles coaches did not call a single bootleg or quarterback draw for the most talented QB runner in the sport.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

bootleg

/ˈbo͞otˌleɡ/