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 pillowy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pillow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Do not add any blankets or pillows to sleep environment. · Room-sharing is safer than having baby sleep in bed with you. Place crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play in room for close contact and easy feeding. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Safe Kids Carroll County: A primer for grandparents on ever-changing child safety recommendations," 6 Sep. 2019 The scent of home on a blanket or pillow might do the trick! Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Thinking of Traveling with Your Pet? Here’s Some Tips from the Pros," 20 Aug. 2019 Dress your bed with layers of super-soft bedding, blankets, and pillows to create the ultimate sleeping space. Jessica Dailey, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to Infusing a Western-Chic Vibe Into Your Home," 1 Aug. 2019 The theater has valet parking and offers food, blankets and pillows delivered to moviegoers’ reclining chairs. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "iPic luxury theater warns of possible bankruptcy filing after missing payment," 31 July 2019 Both beds are made up with mattresses, sheets, blankets and pillows — hardly a four-star hotel, but comfortable enough. John Carpenter, chicagotribune.com, "The college search can be a great excuse for a family vacation — and a 57-hour train ride," 24 July 2019 Get cozy with blankets, pillows, snacks and read your way through the books. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to do when there's nothing to do: Here are ideas for bored kids in the Milwaukee area.," 10 July 2019 Brodkin described sleeping on a cement platform with a flimsy, torn blanket with no pillow, locked in the cell from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. The light was on all night, and the fan made noise. Joaquin Palomino, SFChronicle.com, "Attorney, youth, public officials detail disturbing conditions in SF juvenile hall," 11 Sep. 2019 Amenities: Jump pillow, family movie nights, ice cream socials, gem mine, two heated pools, catch and release fishing pond, pedal cart track, basketball court, horseshoes, bag toss, volleyball, wifi and showers. Laura Johnston, cleveland.com, "10 spots to camp on Lake Erie’s Ohio shores," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Banquette cushion fabric: Odyssey in Pumice (796-208) and pillow fabric (striped): Jake Stripe in Pebble Beach (800-40) by Perennials (perennialsfabrics.com). Southern Living, "Source Guide - February 2013," 2 Jan. 2013 Window treatment and pillow fabric: Montmartre in Clay/Blue and blue pillow fabric: Crillon Linen in Seafoam, both from the Suzanne Kasler collection by Lee Jofa (leejofa.com). Southern Living, "Source Guide - September 2013," 14 Aug. 2013 The best, easiest and most affordable way to change your space up with the season to reflect a cozier atmosphere is to rotate decor like throws and pillows on a quarterly (or bi-annual) basis. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "5 Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall," 30 Sep. 2017 The spices are fragrant and warm, a perfect contrast to pillow-y pita and cool, garlicky tzatziki. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shortcut 'gyros' leave time for picture-worthy fun," 23 Aug. 2017 A cabin without a mattress rented for one dollar; a mattress for two people cost an extra twenty-five cents, and blankets, sheets, and pillows another fifty cents. Andrew Wood, Smithsonian, "The Rise and Fall of the Great American Motel," 1 July 2017

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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Statistics for pillow

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for pillow

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

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More Definitions for pillow


How to pronounce pillow (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on pillow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pillow

Spanish Central: Translation of pillow

Nglish: Translation of pillow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pillow for Arabic Speakers

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