cush·​ion | \ ˈku̇-shən How to pronounce cushion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cushioning (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cushionless (audio) \ adjective
cushiony \ ˈku̇-​shə-​nē How to pronounce cushiony (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for cushion

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of cushion in a Sentence

Noun There is a cushion under the rug to protect the floor. We didn't have a financial cushion when my husband lost his job. Verb 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 Find those nickels and dimes between the couch cushions. J.d. Crowe |, al, "Half-thunk coronavirus thought: Be the change you seek between the cushions," 5 May 2020 The set also comes with comfy couch cushions to sit on. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "8 outdoor furniture items, fire pits, string lights and more to turn your backyard into a sanctuary," 21 Apr. 2020 Thunderstorms, fireworks, or being left alone in the house for a few hours can be a repetitive trigger and can cause a range of behaviors from ripping apart couch cushions to nonstop barking. Hannah Harper,, "Have a Stressed Out Pet? Here Are 4 Ways to Help," 15 Apr. 2020 Look in free agency, look in the draft, look between the couch cushions. Ben Volin,, "A blueprint to remaking the Patriots," 25 Jan. 2020 Finding a stranger’s old snacks wedged into the couch cushions? Real Estate, "Millennials and students are swiping right on luxury furniture rentals," 11 Sep. 2019 Kathryn Money, VP of Strategy & Merchandising for Brilliant Earth, told T&C that the ring appears to be a cushion cut diamond in a white gold or platinum split shank solitaire setting. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Hilary Duff's Engagement Ring," 9 May 2019 But in fact, there’s a lot of cushion built into the system. Lisa Damour, New York Times, "Helping Teens Make Room for Uncomfortable Emotions," 21 Apr. 2020 Despite Cohasset edging Duxbury in the final 400 free relay, the Dragons had enough of a cushion from their divers to power through. Matt Maccormack,, "Duxbury girls’ swim team makes a splash in winning third D2 title in four years," 15 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb California's financial downturn is cushioned by a $16 billion rainy day fund set aside during the good times. CBS News, "California governor proposes cutting $6.1 billion from state budget as revenue plunges," 14 May 2020 To cushion the blow, the government is abandoning its long-standing commitment to balanced budgets and will go on a borrowing binge to finance a stimulus package of more than 750 billion euros ($800 billion). Piotr Skolimowski,, "German Economy Heads for Steep Recession on Coronavirus Impact," 12 May 2020 Donahue cushioned his declaration by noting St. Mary’s will follow the best public health practices and local, state and federal regulations. Ron Kroichick,, "Coronavirus and Bay Area colleges: Fall term could feature outdoor classes, online innovations," 7 May 2020 Look for models with a solid base; a long, cushioned running surface and easy-to-use controls. Richard A. Marini,, "More people setting up home gyms with gyms closed amid coronavirus pandemic," 14 Apr. 2020 Best of all, their new dino-pal is machine washable for easy cleaning after a (cushioned) wipe-out in the backyard. Popular Science, "Balance bikes to help kids learn how to ride," 14 Apr. 2020 However, this can cushion the hit only to a limited extent. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Indian aviation’s wings will remain clipped long after the coronavirus lockdown," 6 Apr. 2020 Other lower-tech safety features might also include railings, softer floors to cushion any falls, and first-aid essentials. Alesandra Dubin, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Granny Pods," 26 Mar. 2020 That could cushion the downturn’s blow, enabling government employment and services to remain relatively steady for a sustained period. oregonlive, "Oregon girds against a coronavirus recession," 13 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for cushion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cushion

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cushion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cushion


How to pronounce cushion (audio)

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 How to pronounce cushion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cushion (audio) \

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

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