1 of 2


pil·​low ˈpi-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce pillow (audio)
: a support for the head of a reclining person
especially : one consisting of a cloth bag filled with feathers, down, sponge rubber, or plastic fiber
: something resembling a pillow especially in form
: a cushion or pad tightly stuffed and used as a support for the design and tools in making lace with a bobbin
pillowy adjective


2 of 2


pillowed; pillowing; pillows

transitive verb

: to rest or lay on or as if on a pillow
: to serve as a pillow for

intransitive verb

: to lay or rest one's head on or as if on a pillow

Examples of pillow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Here are 21 of the best bed sheets, pillows, towels, robes and more. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 7 Sep. 2023 Casper is also offering 20% off pillows, sheets and mattress protectors and 50% off on all bed frames. Bellamy Richardson, wsj.com, 6 Sep. 2023 Beds are made and pillows are fluffed in hotel rooms where no one has laid a head in weeks. Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, New York Times, 1 Sep. 2023 Bargain accent pillows and throws can be incorporated to stay on trend. Erin Hayes Burt, Dallas News, 1 Sep. 2023 Additionally, the brand is offering discounts on its bedding, pillows, and accessories. Malia Griggs, SELF, 1 Sep. 2023 In our shoebox of a dorm room, Vic’s head crept above the pillows. Bryan Washington, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2023 The Parachute pillows are machine-washable, but the brand recommends dry cleaning them for best results. Claire Harmeyer, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2023 Most of the infants died after they were placed to sleep on or with the pillows. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, 23 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English pilwe, from Old English pyle (akin to Old High German pfuliwi), from Latin pulvinus

First Known Use


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


1629, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near pillow

Cite this Entry

“Pillow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillow. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
pil·​low ˈpil-ō How to pronounce pillow (audio)
: a bag filled with soft or springy material used as a cushion usually for the head of a person lying down


2 of 2 verb
: to place on or as if on a pillow
: to serve as a pillow for

More from Merriam-Webster on pillow

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!