- 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 bolstered
Many advocates want those changed, adjusted, or bolstered, and the only way to do that is to open up the bill and reauthorize it.To GOP Congress, as Usual, It’s Welfare on the Chopping Block
December 25, 2014
Bolstered by the momentum of Savage, Masters continued to accumulate up-and-coming conservative talent.The Godfather of Right-Wing Radio
November 23, 2014
And they were responsive, and that only bolstered my brainstorming sessions, so the next time I came in with more ideas.Interview: Kristen Bell, Voiceover Queen, On ‘Frozen,’ ‘Veronica Mars,’ & More
December 18, 2013
Traditional employment sectors like these have bolstered urban economies in Houston, Oklahoma City, Dallas-Ft.The Revolt Against Urban Gentry
November 30, 2013
Perhaps it was bolstered by the drop-crotch revival of 2010.NBA Players Are Wearing Sweatpants Again, but Now They Cost $550
November 11, 2013
They gently raised him, bolstered him with pillows, and told him he had long been ill.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He was no aristocrat, propped and bolstered by grand relatives.Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2)
Charles James Lever
Then she wanted to sit on the divan and she bolstered me up with pillows.Possessed
Bolstered for the moment by this resolve, she threw back her head and raised her eyes.The Lady Doc
His pride was bolstered up, his blood ran once more in pride.The Rainbow
D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
- (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 bolstered
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.