[ bohl-ster ]
/ ˈboʊl stər /


verb (used with object)

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

before 1000; Middle English bolstre (noun), Old English bolster; cognate with Old Norse bolstr, Dutch bolster, German Polster
Related formsbol·ster·er, nounun·bol·ster, verb (used with object)un·bol·stered, adjective

Synonym study

1. See cushion. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bolster

British Dictionary definitions for bolster


/ (ˈbəʊlstə) /

verb (tr)

(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


Derived Formsbolsterer, nounbolstering, noun, adjective

Word Origin for bolster

Old English bolster; related to Old Norse bolstr, Old High German bolstar, Dutch bulster
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