bolster

1 of 2

noun

bol·​ster ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio)
1
: a long pillow or cushion
2
: a structural part designed to eliminate friction or provide support or bearing (see bearing sense 5)

bolster

2 of 2

verb

bolstered; bolstering ˈbōl-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bolster (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to support with or as if with a bolster : reinforce
lay bolstered up in bed
extra men will bolster already augmented dock details Stanley Levey
2
: to give a boost to
news that bolstered his spirits
bolsterer noun

Example Sentences

Verb She came with me to bolster my confidence. a convincing argument that was bolstered by the speaker's reputation She is thinking of ways to bolster her career.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Gabriel Hendifar, artistic director and CEO of the design studio Apparatus, covered the walls of his Manhattan bedroom with rich, velvet-like fabric that contrasts with the plush bedcover and bolster by Zak+Fox. Bebe Howorth, ELLE Decor, 8 Sep. 2022 Fun patterned accessories—like the lampshade and bolster pillow—bring personality to what would otherwise be a pass-through space. Andrea Cooley, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2022 This set of cushions, which comes with 4 flat base cushions and 2 bolster rectangles, can be used to build everything from forts, to houses, to rocket ships. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 18 Aug. 2022 The dual-bolster cushion feels especially comfortable and cooling. Rachel Dube, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum, a graphic, fringed bolster is the perfect accent to this kids room by JDK Interiors, where a colorful mural enlivens the walls. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 21 Oct. 2022 And its sloped bolster will give you the perfect pinch grip for better comfort and control. Wilder Davies, Bon Appétit, 12 Oct. 2022 The seat backs, bolster pillows, and seats are filled with feather down. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Sep. 2022 And its sloped bolster will give you the perfect pinch grip for better comfort and control. Tiffany Hopkins, Bon Appétit, 13 July 2022
Verb
He and Biden were set to strategize during their Wednesday meeting on new ways to bolster Ukraine’s defenses for the long haul. Elaine Kurtenbach, Fortune, 15 Nov. 2022 In a sign of how desperate Republicans are to bolster their ranks, some made overtures to conservative Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas to switch parties and join the GOP. Lisa Mascaro And Farnoush Amiri, Chicago Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 In a sign of how desperate Republicans are to bolster their ranks, some made overtures to conservative Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas to switch parties and join the GOP. Lisa Mascaro And Farnoush Amiri, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Nov. 2022 In a sign of how desperate Republicans are to bolster their ranks, some made overtures to conservative Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas to switch parties and join the GOP. Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Nov. 2022 Speculation has bubbled that once Trump launched his campaign, Attorney General Merrick Garland may appoint a special counsel to bolster the perception that his agency's probes are independent form the White House. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 15 Nov. 2022 Hundreds of inmates were believed to be approached in Russian jails as Moscow raced to bolster its troops, which has suffered heavy casualties since the war began. James Frater, CNN, 14 Nov. 2022 There, Cushman attempted to bolster the careers of young women, such as the American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, who had a Black father and a Native American mother. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2022 The amendments come as the Kremlin seeks to bolster its manpower following staggering battlefield setbacks and mounting casualties. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bolster.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English belg bag — more at belly

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bolster was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bolster

Cite this Entry

“Bolster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolster. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

bolster 1 of 2

noun

bol·​ster ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio)
1
: a long pillow or cushion
2
: a structural part designed to eliminate friction or provide support

bolster

2 of 2

verb

bolstered; bolstering -st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bolster (audio)
: to support with or as if with a bolster
also : reinforce
came with me to bolster my spirits
bolsterer noun

Legal Definition

bolster

transitive verb

bol·​ster
ˈbōl-stər
: to use evidence usually improperly to give weight to (evidence already introduced)

More from Merriam-Webster on bolster

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