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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 upholstered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The furniture of the office was some old Empire stuff, upholstered in red velvet.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • She was not a mass of material gorgeously furnished and upholstered.

  • This may or may not be upholstered, dependent on the character of the material of which it is made.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • Carpets, hangings and upholstered furniture must be removed.

    The Mother and Her Child William S. Sadler
  • Wynn and Hogan sat facing each other on upholstered benches.

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
  • Before the window stood a large Voltaire chair, upholstered in tapestry.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • She sent him flowers; she had an upholstered chair made for him.

  • This is then upholstered with leather without using springs.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • He sits now, as a matter of fact, upon an ottoman, upholstered in red.

    The Governments of Europe

    Frederic Austin Ogg
British Dictionary definitions for upholstered


(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 upholstered



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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