Nearby words

  1. bolshoi ballet,
  2. bolshoi theater,
  3. bolshy,
  4. bolson,
  5. bolster,
  6. bolt boat,
  7. bolt from (out of) the blue,
  8. bolt from the blue, a,
  9. bolt hole,
  10. bolt upright


Origin of bolt

before 1000; Middle English (noun, v., and adv.), Old English (noun), cognate with Dutch bout, German Bolz

Related formsbolt·er, nounbolt·less, adjectivebolt·like, adjective


[ bohlt ]
/ boʊlt /

verb (used with object)

to sift through a cloth or sieve.
to examine or search into, as if by sifting.

Origin of bolt

1150–1200; Middle English bulten < Old French bul(e)ter, metathetic variant of *buteler < Germanic; compare Middle High German biuteln to sift, derivative of biutel, Old High German būtil bag, whence German Beutel

Related formsbolt·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bolt

British Dictionary definitions for bolt


/ (bəʊlt) /




stiffly, firmly, or rigidly (archaic except in the phrase bolt upright)

Word Origin for bolt

Old English bolt arrow; related to Old High German bolz bolt for a crossbow

verb (tr)

to pass (flour, a powder, etc) through a sieve
to examine and separate
Derived Formsbolter or boulter, noun

Word Origin for bolt

C13: from Old French bulter, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German būtil bag


/ (bəʊlt) /


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

Word Origin and History for bolt
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bolt


In addition to the idioms beginning with bolt

  • bolt from the blue, a
  • bolt upright

also see:

  • 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.