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[uhp-hohl-ster, uh-pohl-] /ʌpˈhoʊl stər, əˈpoʊl-/
verb (used with object)
to provide (chairs, sofas, etc.) with coverings, cushions, stuffing, springs, etc.
to furnish (an interior) with hangings, curtains, carpets, or the like.
Origin of upholster
1850-55, Americanism; back formation from upholsterer
Related forms
reupholster, verb (used with object)
unupholstered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for upholster
Historical Examples
  • How many departed monks were required to upholster these six parlors?

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Deprive my figure of all drapery, or upholster it like a window-frame.

    Modern Society Julia Ward Howe
  • Under these conditions my Scolia-grubs contrive at most to upholster their little pit with a thick down of reddish silk.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • In the afternoon with the upholster seeing him do things to my mind, and to my content he did fit my chamber and my wife's.

  • It would have been plain to any eye that it had cost something to upholster these women.

    The Gilded Age, Complete Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner
  • By no means an attractive piece of flesh and blood, and yet a good sample of the class that go to upholster a seraglio.

    Romantic Spain John Augustus O'Shea
  • To upholster a chair seat, a frame should first be made of the shape shown in Fig. 298, C.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for upholster


(transitive) to fit (chairs, sofas, etc) with padding, springs, webbing, and covering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for upholster

1853, back-formation from upholsterer "tradesman who finishes or repairs articles of furniture" (1610s), from upholdester (early 15c.), formed with a diminutive (originally fem.) suffix, from obsolete Middle English noun upholder "dealer in small goods" (early 14c.), from upholden "to repair, uphold, keep from falling or sinking" (in this case, by stuffing); see uphold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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