bolster

noun
bol·​ster | \ ˈbōl-stər \

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 \

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 \ 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 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 Meanwhile, Myers billed himself as a leader who would bring much needed transparency to the department as well as bolster relationships between deputies and community members. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Gore leading sheriff's race in early returns," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This rumor is bolstered by casting rumors that Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter, is actually a teen in the movie. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How the Avengers: Endgame trailer hints that Captain Marvel will save the day (and Iron Man)," 8 Dec. 2018 Amazon’s grocery delivery service, which launched under the Amazon Fresh brand to inconsistent success, is now bolstered by Whole Foods’ physical footprint around the country. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Amazon and Walmart’s rivalry is reshaping how we’ll buy everything in the future," 3 Aug. 2018 Stoke may therefore be forced to look elsewhere in their efforts to bolster their striking ranks, with Gayle himself said to be happy to remain at St James’ Park next season. SI.com, "Stoke City Plotting Double Swoop on Newcastle for Proven Promotion Winning Pair," 29 June 2018 The Washington Post’s reporting showed that, for years, Trump appeared to use the foundation – which was, by law, an independent entity – to make payments that bolstered his interests. David A. Fahrenthold, The Seattle Times, "Trump to shut down charity after lawsuit said he used it for personal and political benefit," 18 Dec. 2018 This theory was bolstered by a pic from the season 2 set. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Season 2," 6 Dec. 2018 The company just last month launched its game store that could bolster its revenue picture. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Who could buy Discord? Acquirers have been giving the gaming startup a long look.," 21 Nov. 2018 The sales pitch is bolstered by the monitor's HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C functionality. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Dell's Enormous Curved Monitor Is Here to Bombard You With Screen," 15 Oct. 2018 Regardless of the cause, the support isn’t just verbal; it is bolstered by the exchange of wealth and arms. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected," 16 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

26 Jan 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 \

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

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!