Definition of bootleg in English:

bootleg

adjective

  • (of alcoholic drink or a recording) made, distributed, or sold illegally.

    ‘bootleg cassettes’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But many Americans, especially in the cities, rejected prohibition; speakeasies flourished and bootleg liquor flowed freely in many municipalities.’
    • ‘I personally have never seen bootleg alcohol and cigarettes sold from the back of a hatchback as reported.’
    • ‘The demand for illicit drugs is as strong as the nation's thirst for bootleg booze during Prohibition.’
    • ‘Later, the islands were used as a smuggling stopover for arms in the civil war and for bootleg alcohol during Prohibition.’
    • ‘This is the woman who carried on drinking bootleg liquor after Prohibition was lifted because she preferred the taste.’
    • ‘After two years at college Slim was expelled for selling bootleg whiskey to other students.’
    • ‘Over 40 years, he has produced something like 40 ‘official’ albums, supplemented by a slew of live LPs and even more bootleg recordings.’
    • ‘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 booze industry in Boston wasn't affected in the least.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Perhaps this has to do with the imprecision of live recording, but it almost sounds like a bootleg recording.’
    • ‘The multimillion-pound black market in bootleg films and CDs is thriving because prosecutors let criminals off the hook, it was claimed last night.’
    illegal, illicit, unlawful, unauthorized, unsanctioned, unlicensed, unofficial, pirated
    View synonyms

verbbootlegs, bootlegging, bootlegged

[with object]
  • Make, distribute, or sell (alcoholic drink or a recording) illegally.

    ‘he amassed a fortune bootlegging whisky’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Commerce Secretary Evans, in China, was complaining about bootlegged copies of American movies selling there for about $1.’
    • ‘National prohibition provided lucrative illegal markets, which some Italian Americans successfully exploited through bootlegging operations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My first real business was bootlegging T-shirts.’
    • ‘So unless someone was helpfully bootlegging it, I don't know how you could hear the whole thing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 2001, 29% of the pirated films seized were on DVD; so far this year 59% have been bootlegged DVDs.’
    • ‘These tapes - amazingly by the standards of Dylan collectors - have never been bootlegged, but can be heard on the BBC documentary.’
    • ‘I've also spoken to people whose work has been bootlegged.’
    • ‘In a way I look at the fact it was bootlegged as a compliment.’
    • ‘If you see a couple of mic stands being attended by some dude with a rock shirt, that show is probably being bootlegged.’
    illegal, illicit, unlawful, unauthorized, unsanctioned, unlicensed, unofficial, pirated
    View synonyms

noun

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

    fake, counterfeit, sham, fraud, imitation, dummy, mock-up, reproduction, replica, copy, print, lookalike, likeness
    View synonyms
  • 2American Football
    A play in which the quarterback pretends to hand the ball to a teammate but continues to carry it, concealing it from opposing players by holding it near his hip.

    ‘he scored on a 29-yard bootleg on fourth down’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bootleg

/ˈbuːtlɛɡ/