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1. A camp where military recruits are rigorously trained in combat, physical fitness, military drills, etc. The military always sounded like a romantic career, but boot camp nearly killed me!
2. A training camp for juvenile offenders or troublesome adolescents modeled after military basic training, meant to instill socially acceptable values and behaviors through rigorous disciplinary, physical, and psychological exercises. Our son was out of control for several years, but after he came back from boot camp, it was like he was a whole new person.
3. Any training camp or course that teaches by means of an intensive and immersive environment. I hear that the computer programming boot camp is full-on, but that you'll come away from it with comprehensive skills in the field.
A training camp involving rigorous exercise. The term is based on the training camp for recruits in the armed services, the new recruits being called “boots,” a name dating from World War I. The transfers of this name include a vigorous exercise program for women established by sports clubs, and a full-immersion boot camp to train actors for war movies, Warriors, Inc., established in 1984 by a retired Marine Corps captain, Dale Dye, who served in Vietnam. The term is on its way to clichédom.