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)


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

Other Words from bolster


bolsterer \ ˈbōl-​stər-​ər How to pronounce bolster (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The company expects to leverage the influx of cash to grow its platform and bolster Landing Pad, a cloud where users can access 3D design work anytime, anywhere. Nicole Gull Mcelroy, Fortune, 26 Apr. 2022 The funds will support state and local fair housing enforcement organizations and bolster education, outreach, and training on rights and responsibilities under federal fair housing laws. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 25 Apr. 2022 Blue notes and a bolster pillow encased in a tribal-pattern fabric from S. Harris dial up the energy in one space while soft greens and organic elements give the second room relaxed attitude. Sally Finder Weepie, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Jan. 2022 The bolster gives your pet a place to rest their head. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 The bolster on the bed, that traditional and these days all too sadly disappearing cushion where two heads are definitely better than one, is certainly a contender for anyone’s affections. Mark Holgate, Vogue, 8 Apr. 2022 The interior appears mostly in fine condition other than a bit of wear on the outer bolster of the driver’s seat and a tear in the carpeting. Jacob Kurowicki, Car and Driver, 24 Feb. 2022 It’s also crafted with a sloped bolster at the handle to encourage your perfect pinch grip for max comfort and control. Bon Appétit, 28 Jan. 2022 The company also pledged $100 million toward partnerships with educational institutions to build a pipeline of talent and bolster research programs in the region. Meghan Bobrowsky, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Aiming to bolster recycling and curb misplacing nuisances, the Coca-Cola company said earlier this week IN A NEWS RELEASE? Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 20 May 2022 To achieve that lofty goal, Musk intends to bolster Twitter's subscription revenue and build up a payments business while decreasing the company's reliance on advertising sales, according to the report. Jennifer Korn, CNN, 17 May 2022 In this sense, Trump is trying to become America’s answer to Silvio Berlusconi: a media tycoon who uses his power and leverage to bolster his political project and line his pockets simultaneously. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 9 May 2022 The covid-19 pandemic led her office to increase its radio and TV ad spending -- which is financed out of money from lawsuits won by the office -- in order to bolster its outreach efforts, Rutledge said. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, 8 May 2022 President Joe Biden has sought for Ukraine, as Washington steps up efforts bolster Kyiv’s efforts to fight back against Russian forces. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, 5 May 2022 This is just the latest in a series of gifts from the Foundation to bolster IU’s research into breast cancer therapies and brings to $50 million the philanthropy’s total commitment to breast cancer research since the start of the century. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Apr. 2022 In addition to acquiring the new space, the money raised will be used to bolster the staff and ensure the longevity of the festival. cleveland, 18 Apr. 2022 The America Competes Act includes $52 billion to increase domestic chip production and another $45 billion in grants and loans to bolster manufacturing facilities and strengthen the supply chain. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Apr. 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.

First Known Use of bolster


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


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

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Time Traveler for bolster

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bolster



bolster plate

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Statistics for bolster

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bolster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bolster


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


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.


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

Legal Definition of bolster

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bolster

Nglish: Translation of bolster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bolster for Arabic Speakers


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