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 front sport seats, with serious side and cushion bolsters, are firmly supportive with long thigh support. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 VW Arteon: a cure for the common sedan," 6 Sep. 2019 Even the seat-cushion bolsters are low enough to not give an annoying wedgie on entry or exit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "550-hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR: all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat," 15 Sep. 2019 Inside are ergonomic seats with generous bolsters, good elbow room, and generous 19.9 cubic feet of rear cargo capacity behind the 60/40 second-row seats. Sue Mead, Houston Chronicle, "Hyundai Veloster: Sporty compact curated with emotion, imagination," 13 Sep. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Warren is bolstered by her establishment media allies. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Can Bernie Sanders’ authenticity sway Democrats?," 13 Sep. 2019 According to media reports on Sept. 7, NOAA planned to hold an investigation into the release of that statement and efforts to bolster Trump. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum starts selling preorders for Trump 'SharpieGate' bobblehead," 10 Sep. 2019 The Lions were bolstered by the return to form for Higuita, who had not played a game at Exploria Stadium since June 1, an absence that stretched 14 weeks. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City battle for a 2-2 home draw against LAFC," 8 Sep. 2019 Efforts to bolster cigarette warnings and ban harmful ingredients have been stymied by tobacco companies. Washington Post, "Anti-smoking advocates bemoan “faltering” pace of FDA action," 29 Aug. 2019 In establishing the Finkelstein Gallery, Fehily was inspired by other institutions’ efforts to bolster the profiles of female artists. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Melbourne Gets Gallery Devoted to Female Artists," 28 Aug. 2019 This will be his third stint with the organization, and Boston’s upcoming purchase of the Red Claws will bolster the connection of the two teams. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 16 Sep. 2019 Further bolstering Saturday’s block for UAA was sophomore Eve Stephens, whose performance also included a match-high 16 kills. Anchorage Daily News, "Seawolf spikers leave Showcase tournament on winning note," 14 Sep. 2019 Finally, for the from-within glow, bolster your diet with items like sardines, olive oil, flax seeds, and avocados that are rich in omega-3s and fatty acids to help replace natural fats lost in cold weather. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Can You Prevent Dry Skin? 4 Expert Tips for Chilly Days Ahead," 13 Sep. 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

5 Oct 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

suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!