Use the adjective bootleg to describe something that is sold illegally, usually because it was stolen in the first place. If you download a movie on your computer and then sell it to a friend, it's a bootleg film.

Bootleg is good for describing something that's stolen, smuggled, or pirated. You can use it as a verb, too, when you're talking about selling something illegal or obtained in a sneaky way, like secret recordings of a rock concert or contraband candy at summer camp. The word bootleg, which originally meant simply "the leg of a boot," refers to alcohol smugglers' trick of hiding flasks inside their boots.

Definitions of bootleg
  1. noun
    whiskey illegally distilled from a corn mash
    synonyms: corn liquor, moonshine
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    type of:
    corn, corn whiskey, corn whisky
    whiskey distilled from a mash of not less than 80 percent corn
  2. adjective
    distributed or sold illicitly
    synonyms: black, black-market, contraband, smuggled
    prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules
  3. verb
    sell illicit products such as drugs or alcohol
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    type of:
    exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
  4. verb
    produce or distribute illegally
    bootleg tapes of the diva's singing”
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    type of:
    create, make, produce
    create or manufacture a man-made product
  5. noun
    the part of a boot above the instep
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    type of:
    an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)
Word Family

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