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

Instead, the Reproductive Health Act, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 22, bolster's the state's protections for those seeking abortions in line with the guarantees already set forth in Roe v. Wade. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What President Trump Got Wrong About Abortion in His State of the Union Address," 6 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One of Winters’ first moves as chief was to shake up the top-heavy department’s hierarchy by reassigning its five deputy chiefs in an effort to bolster the understaffed patrol division. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Harvey hires CPD lieutenant, ex-lawmaker to transform police department," 8 June 2019 But new evidence of its feasibility bolsters the case for pursuing it. Eric Niiler, WIRED, "What to Do About CO2? Try Stuffing It Into the Gulf of Mexico," 6 June 2019 For Virgin America, Alaska spent $2.6 billion as part of an aggressive effort to bolster its competitive presence in California. Justin Bachman, Anchorage Daily News, "Virgin America vanishes into Alaska Airlines - along with Branson’s US dream," 4 June 2019 Few companies are telling securities regulators about cyberattacks, a new analysis finds, despite recent efforts to bolster disclosures of such incidents to investors. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, "Many Company Hacks Go Undisclosed to SEC Despite Regulator Efforts," 26 Feb. 2019 The Pixel 2 earned a reputation as perhaps the best camera on any smartphone, and Google is looking to carry that momentum forward with new software features that bolster the new camera performance with AI enhancements. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL announced with bigger screens and best cameras yet," 9 Oct. 2018 But Sony’s PlayStation 5 will drag the console back into relevance with hardware upgrades sure to bolster gaming as a whole, according to a Wired interview with Sony system architect Mark Cerny. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Why Sony's PlayStation 5 specs matter to PC gamers: Ryzen, Radeon, SSDs, and ray tracing," 16 Apr. 2019 One is to bolster opposition to race-sensitive admissions by fueling sympathy for, and resentment among, unsuccessful minority applicants. Yuvraj Joshi, Teen Vogue, "Why the Affirmative Action Case Against Harvard Isn’t Actually About Fair Treatment for Minority Students," 16 Oct. 2018 Some legal experts say that the earlier decision in Dynamex may bolster an argument in this new case around unfair competition that has previously been difficult to win on in federal court. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Limo firm to Uber: You misclassify your drivers as contractors, which is unfair," 13 Sep. 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

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

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!