- a long, often cylindrical, cushion or pillow for a bed, sofa, etc.
- anything resembling this in form or in use as a support.
- any pillow, cushion, or pad.
- Also called bolster plate.a circular casting on the side of a vessel, through which an anchor chain passes.
- a timber used as a temporary support.
- a beam for holding lines or rigging without chafing.
- a bag filled with buoyant material, fitted into a small boat.
- Metalworking. an anvillike support for the lower die of a drop forge.
- a timber or the like connecting two ribs of a centering.
- a chisel with a blade splayed toward the edge, used for cutting bricks.
- Carpentry. a horizontal timber on a post for lessening the free span of a beam.
- a structural member on which one end of a bridge truss rests.
- to support with or as with a pillow or cushion.
- to add to, support, or uphold (sometimes followed by up): They bolstered their morale by singing. He bolstered up his claim with new evidence.
Origin of bolster
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bolster
To bolster my case I told him we should actually call it Pursuito, like Vertigo or Psycho.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Low-income work was a necessity, either to make up for the absence of a man or to bolster his own low-income paycheck.'Ghostbusters' and the Slow Emancipation of Female-Driven Comedy
August 15, 2014
Critics also argue the military assistance may be coming too late to bolster mainstream rebels.U.S. on Alert for Al Qaeda Attack as Group Battles ISIS for Top Terrorist
July 1, 2014
“This reduces a potential drag to the economy and will bolster growth for the remainder of 2014,” Handler notes.The U.S. Economy Had a Hiccup, Not a Heart Attack, This Year
May 29, 2014
Having a major movie backing up the program can only bolster its relationship with MLB.The Aftermath of Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’
May 16, 2014
But I will not attempt to bolster my position with authorities.
Spread it with the jam, and roll up in the form of a bolster.The Skilful Cook
Presently, however, she came back with a dry pillow and bolster for him.Rollo on the Atlantic
Some days Sanjib Babu would be there reclining on his bolster.My Reminiscences
The answer was perfectly clear, but there were even more facts to bolster it.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
- (often foll by up) to support or reinforce; strengthento bolster morale
- to prop up with a pillow or cushion
- to add padding toto bolster a dress
- a long narrow pillow or cushion
- any pad or padded support
- architect a short horizontal length of timber fixed to the top of a post to increase the bearing area and reduce the span of the supported beam
- a cold chisel having a broad blade splayed towards the cutting edge, used for cutting stone slabs, etc
Word Origin and History for bolster
Old English bolster "bolster, cushion, something stuffed so that it swells up," especially "long, stuffed pillow," from Proto-Germanic *bolkhstraz (cf. Old Norse bolstr, Danish, Swedish, Dutch bolster, German polster), from PIE *bhelgh- "to swell" (see belly (n.)).
mid-15c. (implied in bolstered), "propped up, made to bulge" (originally of a woman's breasts), from bolster (n.). Figurative sense is from c.1500, on the notion of "to support with a bolster, prop up." Related: Bolstering.