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 The arrangement of crown jewels that sit on the cushion behind the emperor is different in each. Gavin Morrison, Dallas News, "Mystery solved: The surprising backstory of that Napoleon portrait hanging in the Adolphus hotel bar," 30 July 2020 It was intended to keep more people at home during a health crisis, and give them a cushion to do so. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, "$600 unemployment benefit ends in July. Economists not optimistic about what happens after," 7 July 2020 Government programs like the Payroll Protections Program have provided a cushion to small and minority-owned businesses, but the PPP also delivered frustration. oregonlive, "‘Trying to make up for a lot of lost time’: Black-owned businesses still face lending inequalities," 26 June 2020 Villavelazquez at least was fortunate enough to have a cushion to fall back on. Carolyn Said,, "1.3 million Americans — a fifth of them in California — join ranks of jobless," 9 July 2020 Some editors want all the cushion, while others swear by a lightweight fit for their fastest runs. SELF, "Submission Guidelines for SELF’s 2020 Sneaker Awards," 7 July 2020 My ideas fell with a thud on the cutting room floor, no cushion of mutual experience to buoy them. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, "What Does It Mean to Be a ‘BA Restaurant’?," 29 June 2020 The job losses during the pandemic are hitting Blacks and Hispanics hard, particularly since many do not have a generous cushion of savings. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "COVID-19 widens racial wealth gap, hitting Black businesses especially hard," 19 June 2020 These slip-on style Step Beat Dune Sandals are well-liked by reviewers for their lightweight, flexible design that comes from layers of cushion-soft padding. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Clarks just dropped the prices on its incredibly comfy summer sandals," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chief Executive Officer Heyward Donigan said stimulus efforts will likely cushion the effects of an economic downturn. Angelica Lavito,, "Rite Aid Withdraws 2021 Forecast Amid Pandemic Uncertainty," 30 June 2020 Even billions of dollars in global fiscal stimulus is struggling to cushion the blow as the pandemic worsens generational inequality. Emily Cadman, Fortune, "Legacy of global financial crisis means Gen Z is hardest hit by the COVID economy," 6 July 2020 Largely unable to work from home and disqualified from federal money, these immigrants have little to cushion them from the nationwide financial impact of the pandemic. Tatiana Sanchez,, "Bay Area’s undocumented restaurant workers may need most help, get the least," 5 July 2020 And there’s no neighborhood traffic to cushion the downtown when that workday traffic dries up. Lydia Gerike, The Indianapolis Star, "Downtown businesses hope mask mandate makes customers feel safer coming back," 5 July 2020 Governments used labor market support programs to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on workers. Washington Post, "Europe contains jobless rate, but faces summer of discontent," 2 July 2020 The Federal Reserve’s full-bore intervention to cushion the economy this spring created an unusual paradox in the corporate bond market. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Fed Backstop Fueled Corporate Bond Surge," 30 June 2020 Glenn Jones, chief executive officer of the insurance agency, said his team had to make quick adjustments to cushion the financial blow. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Kentucky expects record turnout for primary amid pandemic," 23 June 2020 The package -- about 30% bigger than expected -- adds to an effort launched in March that means Germany has now made more than 1.3 trillion euros available to cushion the impact of the coronavirus, by far the most in the European Union. Iain Rogers,, "Merkel Stimulus Seals German Shift From Frugality to Largess," 7 June 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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cushion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 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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