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

Proper hand position on the bolster controls the blade, determines its function, and prevents you from cutting the vegetables too big (or cutting your finger off). Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Use a Chef's Knife," 7 Nov. 2018 The grip: Pinch the blade between your thumb and forefinger just ahead of the bolster like a claw, curling the other three fingers around the handle. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Use a Chef's Knife," 7 Nov. 2018 Seven & I Holdings credits hot dogs and pizza with helping bolster sales. Rachel Abrams, The Seattle Times, "Tensions build between 7-Eleven and its store owners," 30 July 2018 They're bolstered, but not aggressively so, and there are buttons to widen or narrow the bolsters to your preference. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Small, nimble, quick, and loud: The BMW X2 reviewed," 23 May 2018 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 flatter, rectangular bolsters are more comfortable to lie on for restorative poses. Julie Brown, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Yoga Kit," 6 June 2018 Cloth seats are available in ash (mine, black bolsters with ash contrast stitching) or black. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Toyota introduces new Adventure modelto the lineup of its 2018 RAV4 crossover," 23 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So, doesn't neglecting to bolster boys along with the girls, by this logic, actually limit their potential? Christine Michel Carter, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Feminism Is Stifling Our Sons," 22 Feb. 2019 Square, rectangular, or bolster, patterned or plain, decorative pillows add extra oomph to your bed. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "How a Professional Set Stylist Makes the Perfect Bed," 21 Feb. 2019 The two reports bolstered oil prices, which found further support after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the Financial Times that his country planned to reduce output to 9.8 million barrels a day by March. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "Oil Reaches Near-Three-Month High as OPEC Supply Drops," 15 Feb. 2019 The low weight of the vehicle further bolsters safety since it's less likely to do serious damage in the event of a crash. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Kroger-owned grocery store begins fully driverless deliveries," 18 Dec. 2018 But if Captain Marvel becomes a hit like Black Panther did, the immediate line of thought at Marvel will be that female superhero movies sell (and Wonder Woman’s success would bolster this idea). Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "2018 belonged to Black Panther. And it could change Marvel’s future.," 11 Dec. 2018 That measure bolsters border security and grants legal status to many DACA recipients. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 2 Oct. 2018 The tool also bolsters contracts, eliminating the risk that someone won’t follow through on their commitment. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 West Ham now appear to be in the market for Lascelles, having already bolstered their defensive ranks with the £20m signing of 21-year-old centre back Issa Diop from French outfit Toulouse. SI.com, "Newcastle Reject 'Out of Hand' West Ham Bid Worth Up to £25m for Captain Jamaal Lascelles," 10 July 2018

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

bolshevize

bolshie

bolson

bolster

bolster plate

bolt

bolt-action

Statistics for bolster

Last Updated

9 Mar 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

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
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!