bolster

1 of 2

noun

bol·​ster ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio)
1
: a long pillow or cushion
2
: a structural part designed to eliminate friction or provide support or bearing (see bearing sense 5)

bolster

2 of 2

verb

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

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 detailsStanley Levey
2
: to give a boost to
news that bolstered his spirits
bolsterer 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
Giordano says the bolster sides and memory foam base cradled her perfectly for activities like reading, watching TV, scrolling TikTok, and even taking a nap. Nena Farrell, WIRED, 12 Mar. 2024 The bolster form of the bed serves as a pillow as well as a sense of security for your dog, who may lay their head or lean against it for more comfort. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2023 See all Example Sentences for bolster 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bolster.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English belg bag — more at belly

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near bolster

Cite this Entry

“Bolster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolster. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

bolster

1 of 2 noun
bol·​ster ˈbōl-stər How to pronounce bolster (audio)
1
: a long pillow or cushion
2
: a structural part designed to eliminate friction or provide support

bolster

2 of 2 verb
bolstered; bolstering -st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce bolster (audio)
: to support with or as if with a bolster
also : reinforce
came with me to bolster my spirits
bolsterer noun

Legal Definition

bolster

transitive verb
bol·​ster
ˈbōl-stər
: to use evidence usually improperly to give weight to (evidence already introduced)

More from Merriam-Webster on bolster

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!