Definition of bootloader in US English:



  • A program that loads an operating system when a computer is turned on.

    ‘Linux's GRUB bootloader can be used to select which operating system you'd like to boot into’
    • ‘You can append arguments to the command line from the bootloader.’
    • ‘Once the lock on the bootloader is breached, the media lockout won't be technologically defensible.’
    • ‘The company started releasing a manufacturer-approved method for unlocking the bootloader a while back.’
    • ‘When the end of the upgrade process tried to call the bootloader, it failed because what it was looking for wasn't there.’
    • ‘The PC has no hard, floppy or CD-ROM drive, so some other device must provide the bootloader and bootable image.’


1970s: from boot (sense 4 of the noun) + loader.