bolt upright


Precisely perpendicular, erect in carriage, as in She sat bolt upright in her pew. This expression was used in slightly different form by Chaucer in the late 1300s: “She was ... long as a mast and upright as a bolt” (The Miller's Tale).

QUIZZES

CAN YOU GUESS THESE WORDS FROM AROUND THE US?

American English is not always as it appears to be ... get to know regional words in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.