cush·​ion | \ ˈku̇-shən \

Definition of cushion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a soft pillow or pad usually used for sitting, reclining, or kneeling
2 : a bodily part resembling a pad
3 : something resembling a cushion: such as
c : a pad of springy rubber along the inside of the rim of a billiard table
d : a padded insert in a shoe
e : an elastic body for reducing shock
f : a mat laid under a large rug to ease the effect of wear
4a : something (such as an economic factor or a medical procedure) serving to mitigate the effects of disturbances or disorders
b : a reserve supply (as of money)
c : a comfortable lead a 4–0 cushion in the ninth inning


cushioned; cushioning\ ˈku̇-​sh(ə-​)niŋ \

Definition of cushion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seat or place on a cushion
2 : to suppress by ignoring
3 : to furnish with a cushion a cushioned seat
4a : to mitigate the effects of trying to cushion the blow
b : to protect against force or shock cushion the ride
5 : to check gradually so as to minimize shock of moving parts

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Other Words from cushion


cushionless \ ˈku̇-​shən-​ləs \ adjective
cushiony \ ˈku̇-​shə-​nē \ adjective

Synonyms for cushion

Synonyms: Noun

buffer, bumper, cocoon, cushioning, fender, pad

Synonyms: Verb

buffer, gentle, soften

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Examples of cushion in a Sentence


There is a cushion under the rug to protect the floor. We didn't have a financial cushion when my husband lost his job.


The pile of leaves helped cushion his fall. The tax cut is meant to cushion the blow of soaring gas prices.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Next, take the section of hair just in front of the cushion and flip back and over. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "10 Styling Hacks to Create Thicker-Looking Hair," 5 Jan. 2019 For stains that have set into the sofa cushions, use Bissell Pet Stain & Odor Remover and follow the same steps above. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of That Cat Pee Smell on Carpets, Wood, and Upholstery," 17 Dec. 2018 Company executives maintain that extra cash gives Ford more of a cushion in the next downturn, the ability to keep paying dividends, and invest to transform its business. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Will Ford's Detroit train station purchase spark its stock price?," 15 June 2018 This is the rare case in which a gluteal muscle strain could be more of a cushion than a pain in the butt. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Of course Audible scratched. WinStar Farms has too much money at stake," 25 May 2018 The Gators would go on to score nine runs on six hits and three Lightning errors, giving Crocamo plenty of cushion to pitch with. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Nine-run sixth inning powers Centennial baseball to playoff win over Long Reach," 11 May 2018 At the same time, it's left less of a cushion to deal with further declines, now that the U.S. is exiting the Iran nuclear-arms deal and reimposing sanctions. Alex Nussbaum And Lucia Kassai, Houston Chronicle, "Iran sanctions add to Venezuela collapse, jolting oil market," 9 May 2018 Seventh Heaven and Blackcomb Glacier served us well, delivering wide-open bowls with plenty of cushion. Marlise Kast-myers,, "Medal-worthy Whistler," 27 Mar. 2018 But as Handel's slim victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff showed, Republicans have more of a cushion in these places than in the red pockets. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "The places that will decide the 2018 midterm elections," 20 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Packers use foot pedals to dispense inflated air pillows to cushion items when boxed. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "U.S. retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers," 1 Jan. 2019 Worse, since the start of October bonds have failed in their usual job of cushioning a portfolio during a stock selloff, with Treasurys losing money too. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Finding Stocks to Buy in an Era of Rising Prices," 6 Nov. 2018 Rojo finished it off in the second by cushioning a volley with his right foot into the bottom corner and ensuring Messi’s quest for a first World Cup title continued. Washington Post, "Messi finally scores, Argentina advances at World Cup," 26 June 2018 There are so many brands and types, and what the heck are features like carbon foot plates, heel crash pads, and the difference between foam cushioning and other types of cushioning anyway? Amy Schlinger, Teen Vogue, "The Best Running Shoes Whether You’re Running One Mile or 26.2," 20 Aug. 2018 Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, also played a role cushioning the business cycle. James Glynn, WSJ, "How an Economic Boom Can Run Out the Clock," 15 July 2018 The sneaker is also equipped with a drop-in foam midsole made of Nike React technology and Lunarlon to maximize cushioning and response. Jarrel Harris,, "The Sneaker Mailbox: How Much Influence Does Drake Really Have?," 2 Apr. 2018 How to Wash a Bra Use a mesh garment bag to cushion the bra and keep it from twisting and tangling in your washing machine. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wash a Bra the Right Way — And Mistakes You Might Be Making," 3 Nov. 2017 To complete the audience, Abloh invited local design students, wooed by free T-shirts, to help cushion the crowds along his gradient catwalk., "At Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh Brings Diversity To Paris Fashion Week," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cushion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cushion


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cushion


Middle English cusshin, from Anglo-French cussin, quissin, from Vulgar Latin *coxinus, from Latin coxa hip — more at coxa

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Statistics for cushion

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cushion

The first known use of cushion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cushion



English Language Learners Definition of cushion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a soft object or part that is used to make something (such as a seat) more comfortable or to protect a surface from damage : a soft pillow, pad, etc.
: any one of the rubber parts that the ball bounces off along the inner edges of a billiard table
: something (such as an extra amount of money) that you can use to reduce the bad effect of something (such as an unexpected problem or expense)



English Language Learners Definition of cushion (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something, such as a fall or collision) less severe or painful : to soften or reduce the bad effect of (something)


cush·​ion | \ ˈku̇-shən \

Kids Definition of cushion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a soft pillow or pad to rest on or against
2 : something soft like a pad Moss formed a cushion on the ground.
3 : something that serves to soften or lessen the effects of something bad or unpleasant


cushioned; cushioning

Kids Definition of cushion (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to place on or as if on a soft pillow or pad
2 : to furnish with a soft pillow or pad
3 : to soften or lessen the force or shock of The soft sand cushioned her fall.


cush·​ion | \ ˈku̇sh-ən \

Medical Definition of cushion

1 : a bodily part resembling a pad
2 : a medical procedure or drug that eases discomfort without necessarily affecting the basic condition of the patient

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More from Merriam-Webster on cushion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cushion

Spanish Central: Translation of cushion

Nglish: Translation of cushion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cushion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cushion

What made you want to look up cushion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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