a movable bar or rod that when slid into a socket fastens a door, gate, etc.
the part of a lock that is shot from and drawn back into the case, as by the action of the key.
any of several types of strong fastening rods, pins, or screws, usually threaded to receive a nut.
a sudden dash, run, flight, or escape.
a sudden desertion from a meeting, political party, social movement, etc.
a length of woven goods, especially as it comes on a roll from the loom.
a roll of wallpaper.
Bookbinding. the three edges of a folded sheet that must be cut so that the leaves can be opened.
a rod, bar, or plate that closes the breech of a breechloading rifle, especially a sliding rod or bar that shoves a cartridge into the firing chamber as it closes the breech.
a jet of water, molten glass, etc.
an arrow, especially a short, heavy one for a crossbow.
a shaft of lightning; thunderbolt.
a length of timber to be cut into smaller pieces.
a slice from a log, as a short, round piece of wood used for a chopping block.
to fasten with or as with a bolt.
to discontinue support of or participation in; break with: to bolt a political party.
to shoot or discharge (a missile), as from a crossbow or catapult.
to utter hastily; say impulsively; blurt out.
to swallow (one's food or drink) hurriedly: She bolted her breakfast and ran to school.
to make (cloth, wallpaper, etc.) into bolts.
Fox Hunting. (of hounds) to force (a fox) into the open.
to make a sudden, swift dash, run, flight, or escape; spring away suddenly: The rabbit bolted into its burrow.
to break away, as from one's political party.
to eat hurriedly or without chewing.
Horticulture. to produce flowers or seeds prematurely.
Archaic. with sudden meeting or collision; suddenly.
Idioms about bolt
bolt from the blue, a sudden and entirely unforeseen event: His decision to leave college was a bolt from the blue for his parents.: Also bolt out of the blue.
bolt upright, stiffly upright; rigidly straight: The explosive sound caused him to sit bolt upright in his chair.
shoot one's bolt, Informal. to make an exhaustive effort or expenditure: The lawyer shot his bolt the first day of the trial and had little to say thereafter.
- bolter, noun
- boltless, adjective
- boltlike, adjective
Other definitions for bolt (2 of 2)
to sift through a cloth or sieve.
to examine or search into, as if by sifting.
- bolter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bolt in a sentence
Over the course of 72 hours, around 11,000 bolts of lightning touched down across central California, starting 367 wildfires.
Strangely, the smaller bolts appeared to come from just 18 kilometers below the cloud tops, where it’s too cold for liquid water to exist alone.‘Exotic’ lightning crackles across Jupiter’s cloud tops | Lisa Grossman | August 5, 2020 | Science News
The only components that aren’t 3D printed are the actuators, tendons, electronics, batteries, sensors, and the nuts and bolts.This Startup Is 3D Printing Custom Prosthetics for a Fraction of the Standard Cost | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | July 22, 2020 | Singularity Hub
The record distance for a lightning flash goes to a bolt on October 31, 2018.Lightning megaflashes set big new distance and duration records | Carolyn Gramling | July 21, 2020 | Science News For Students
Meanwhile, a lightning bolt on October 31, 2018, set the new record for length.Two lightning megaflashes shattered distance and duration records | Carolyn Gramling | June 25, 2020 | Science News
Like any high-powered attorney who charges $100,000 for a retainer, bolt always seems to be one step ahead of the competition.Gone Girl’s Biggest Twist Is the Superb Tyler Perry | Alex Suskind | October 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But when member organizations started to bolt, the WCF finally caved.The Kremlin’s Favorite Anti-Gay Hate Group is Coming to Utah | Jay Michaelson | July 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But for once we see something new: The singer reloads the bolt of his machine-gun in time with the music.
Ardie would bolt into the club with a huge smile and energy to match, raring to get on stage.TMZ Makes Tragedy Porn Out of Tracy Morgan’s Gruesome Car Accident | Dean Obeidallah | June 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Setting up the company “came to me as a lightning bolt last summer,” Lear tells me.
Mrs. Ducksmith, who had sat with overwhelmed head in her hands, started bolt upright, and looked at him like one thunderstruck.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
"Take some melon, Mr. Mudge," said we, as with a sudden bolt we recovered our speech and took another slice ourself.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
"Some one has lost their way on the heath," said Dorothy, laying her hand upon the strong iron bolt that secured the door.The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
Susy, who had been awake, had heard the alarm and drawn the bolt so as to give time for hastily throwing on a few garments.The Garret and the Garden | R.M. Ballantyne
But failure to lock or bolt his door is not necessarily negligence on the part of a guest.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
British Dictionary definitions for bolt (1 of 3)
a bar that can be slid into a socket to lock a door, gate, etc
a bar or rod that forms part of a locking mechanism and is moved by a key or a knob
a metal rod or pin that has a head at one end and a screw thread at the other to take a nut
a sliding bar in a breech-loading firearm that ejects the empty cartridge, replaces it with a new one, and closes the breech
a flash of lightning
a sudden start or movement, esp in order to escape: they made a bolt for the door
US a sudden desertion, esp from a political party
a roll of something, such as cloth, wallpaper, etc
an arrow, esp for a crossbow
printing a folded edge on a sheet of paper that is removed when cutting to size
mechanical engineering short for expansion bolt
a bolt from the blue a sudden, unexpected, and usually unwelcome event
shoot one's bolt to exhaust one's effort: the runner had shot his bolt
(tr) to secure or lock with or as with a bolt or bolts: bolt your doors
(tr) to eat hurriedly: don't bolt your food
(intr; usually foll by from or out) to move or jump suddenly: he bolted from the chair
(intr) (esp of a horse) to start hurriedly and run away without warning
(tr) to roll or make (cloth, wallpaper, etc) into bolts
US to desert (a political party, etc)
(intr) (of cultivated plants) to produce flowers and seeds prematurely
(tr) to cause (a wild animal) to leave its lair; start: terriers were used for bolting rats
stiffly, firmly, or rigidly (archaic except in the phrase bolt upright)
British Dictionary definitions for bolt (2 of 3)
to pass (flour, a powder, etc) through a sieve
to examine and separate
- bolter or boulter, noun
British Dictionary definitions for Bolt (3 of 3)
Robert (Oxton). 1924–95, British playwright. His plays include A Man for All Seasons (1960) and he also wrote a number of screenplays
Usain (juːˈseɪn). born 1986, Jamaican athlete: winner of the 100 metres and the 200 metres in the 2008 Olympic Games, setting world records at both distances
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with bolt
In addition to the idioms beginning with bolt
- bolt from the blue, a
- bolt upright
- nuts and bolts
- shoot one's bolt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.