bolster

noun
bol·​ster | \ ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio) \

Definition of bolster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long pillow or cushion
2 : a structural part designed to eliminate friction or provide support or bearing (see bearing sense 5)

bolster

verb
bolstered; bolstering\ ˈbōl-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce bolstering (audio) \

Definition of bolster (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bolster

Verb

bolsterer \ ˈbōl-​stər-​ər How to pronounce bolsterer (audio) \ noun

Examples of bolster in a Sentence

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The simple sport seats with manual height adjustment cradle and support without extreme bolsters. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Boxster 718: preserving Porsche purity," 18 Aug. 2019 Everything that isn’t wrapped in leather is carbon fiber, aluminum or ballistic nylon on high-wear areas like seat bolsters. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Chevy breaks the mold with faster, more sophisticated 2020 Corvette Stingray," 18 July 2019 Each of them was keen to produce break-out moments—of the kind that might fly on social media, inspire cash contributions and bolster campaigns ahead of a months-long slog. The Economist, "The Democrats hold their first presidential primary debate," 27 June 2019 Funds allocated in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 to help governments in the Northern Triangle bolster security and crack down on transnational gangs will continue. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "U.S. cuts millions in aid to Central America, fulfilling Trump's vow," 17 June 2019 The interior was striking, with black square-quilted seat inserts, contrast stitching and piping on the bolsters, plush door panels in brown, and wood on the dash and center stack. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Armada full-size SUV has plentyof room for the family, lots of technology," 17 June 2018 The black interior gets matching orange seat inserts, seat belts and knee bolsters. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Big boys’ toys: Camaro special edition pays tribute to iconic Hot Wheels," 9 June 2018 MGM Resorts International The $850 million acquisition of Empire City at Yonkers Raceway’s race track and casino bolsters MGM’s presence on the East Coast and, in particular, in the Northeast. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "MGM To Buy New York Casino But Remains Committed To Developing Bridgeport Venue," 29 May 2018 The seats have side bolsters, as any fast car should. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "New wagons from Volvo and Jaguar offer agile alternatives to the lumbering SUV," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many House Democrats would rather impeach him than hand him legislative victories that could bolster his re-election chances. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump Heads Into 2020 With No Clear Policy Agenda. But It May Not Matter.," 4 Sep. 2019 For White, the top priority is expanding student section, a rowdy group that bolsters the Knights’ home-field advantage. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "As UCF football popularity surges, AD Danny White considers expanding stadium," 2 Sep. 2019 Brissett wound up starting 15 games for the Colts in fall of 2017, with Luck on the shelf, and that only bolstered Ballard’s initial evaluation. Albert Breer, SI.com, "How the Colts Are Pushing Forward Without Andrew Luck," 26 Aug. 2019 More than 225 mayors have asked for McConnell to call the Senate back to vote on the laws that would bolster background checks. USA TODAY, "OnPolitics: The week everyone was talking about guns," 9 Aug. 2019 Last year’s fundraising frenzy coincided with a flurry of 435 IPOs from companies based in China that bolstered war chests before the trade war began to take its toll. Los Angeles Times, "Teachers, firefighters from California to New Jersey seek Chinese tech riches," 7 Aug. 2019 July 26 The death of a bill in Congress this week that would have bolstered election security systems puts more pressure on states to prevent cyberattacks from Russia that former special counsel Robert Mueller warned against this week. Washington Post, "Congressional inaction on vote security puts onus on states," 28 July 2019 Last week, however, the church was re-opened with a grand celebration, thanks to a pioneering conservation project that bolstered the site’s resistance to seismic activity. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Pioneering Conservation Project Saves Earthquake-Damaged Peruvian Church," 28 June 2019 On Thursday, Congress sent President Trump a $4.6 billion package that bolsters care for the tens of thousands of arrivals taken into custody. CBS News, "Acting DHS secretary expects border crossings to drop by 25% in June," 28 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of bolster

Noun

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

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bolster

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bolster

Dictionary Entries near bolster

bolshie

bolson

Bolsonaro

bolster

bolster plate

bolt

bolt-action

Statistics for bolster

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bolster

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bolster

bolster

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bolster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long bag of cloth completely filled with soft material : a long pillow or cushion

bolster

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bolster (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) stronger or better : to give support to (something)

bolster

noun
bol·​ster | \ ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio) \

Kids Definition of bolster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long pillow or cushion sometimes used to support bed pillows

bolster

verb
bolstered; bolstering

Kids Definition of bolster (Entry 2 of 2)

: to support with or as if with a bolster We tried to bolster their courage.

bolster

transitive verb
bol·​ster | \ ˈbōl-stər\

Legal Definition of bolster

: to use evidence usually improperly to give weight to (evidence already introduced)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bolster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bolster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bolster

Spanish Central: Translation of bolster

Nglish: Translation of bolster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bolster for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bolster

What made you want to look up bolster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!