pil·​low | \ ˈpi-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce pillow (audio) \

Definition of pillow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
b : something resembling a pillow especially in form
2 : a cushion or pad tightly stuffed and used as a support for the design and tools in making lace with a bobbin


pillowed; pillowing; pillows

Definition of pillow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from pillow


pillowy \ ˈpi-​lə-​wē How to pronounce pillow (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pillow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pillow, on the other hand, is a clever inflatable device that goes under the pool cover and keeps any ice that forms in your pool from exerting pressure on the pool walls. Allen Foster, chicagotribune.com, "How to winterize an aboveground pool," 22 Jan. 2021 For there was my mother on that pillow with a view. Robert Tate Miller, The Christian Science Monitor, "The lesson of the leather suitcase," 23 Dec. 2020 With temperature-regulating technology, this pillow will keep you cool during the night. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "The Home Depot has major discounts for Black Friday 2020—here are the best deals," 24 Nov. 2020 Ultra soft and waterproof (obviously, lol), the padded foam pillow is also incredibly supportive of your neck and back. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need to stay warm and comfy indoors," 4 Nov. 2020 His head rolls on the pillow, with intention and control, from side to side, each ear touching down like the taps of a metronome. David Aloi, New York Times, "I Learned This Stress-Management Trick When I Was 3," 22 Oct. 2020 The archaeologists discovered evidence that one older woman was originally buried with her head resting on a pillow. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "High-Status Roman Burials Found in Britain," 8 Jan. 2020 Place a bolster or pillows underneath your knees, and a pillow underneath your head. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Should you skip or keep your workout if you're sick? Here's how to tell," 25 Dec. 2020 The Bed-In-A-Bag sets include all necessary bedding: sheets, a comforter, and a pillow. Jamie Swinnerton, Chron, "Houston Furniture Bank to give away bedding sets as charity effort," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Aleta Burchyski bought this acupressure mat and pillow set on a recommendation from a friend. Kelsey Lindsey, Outside Online, "The Wellness Products That Our Editors Loved in 2020," 12 Nov. 2020 Getting a good night’s sleep starts with the basics, like the right mattress, sheets, blankets and, yes, pillow for you. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "The best pillows for every type of sleeper," 14 Aug. 2020 Sofa by The Raj Company and custom chairs: both in Kravet fabric. Pink pillows: John Robshaw. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Destroyed in a Hurricane, a Bahamian Home Gets a Second Life," 10 Mar. 2020 Solution: Prop yourself up with pillows behind you, pillows underneath your arms and pillows underneath your legs. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "How to combat poor at-home work posture," 22 Apr. 2020 The set piece rips away the artifice that so often congenially pillows our notions of theatre. The New Yorker, "Women’s Worlds in “Jagged Little Pill” and “Fefu and Her Friends”," 9 Dec. 2019 The first 200 children 12 and under will get special heart pillows with arms. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "My first IKEA experience: What newbies can expect when the store opens in Oak Creek May 16," 9 May 2018 As part of the partnership’s #HugOneGiveOne campaign, Pillow of Health matches any purchase of their kids pillow with a donation of one pillow to a child with cancer at Lurie. Gwendolyn Purdom, RedEye Chicago, "Do good making kids with cancer more comfortable with Cal’s Angels," 24 Jan. 2018 As friends of the NFL are aware, The League, rightfully running scared from the head injury repercussions, has been doing its best to pillow the blows which lead to lawsuits, and thus, shorter pockets for billionaires. Nick Canepa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Soft NFL would be even softer if kickoff returns got the boot," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pillow.' 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 pillow


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


1629, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pillow


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

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Time Traveler for pillow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pillow

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pillow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillow. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for pillow



English Language Learners Definition of pillow

: a bag filled with soft material that is used as a cushion usually for the head of a person who is lying down


pil·​low | \ ˈpi-lō How to pronounce pillow (audio) \

Kids Definition of pillow

: a bag filled with soft or springy material used as a cushion usually for the head of a person lying down

More from Merriam-Webster on pillow

Nglish: Translation of pillow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pillow for Arabic Speakers

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