Idioms

Origin of bolt

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

British Dictionary definitions for bolt upright (1 of 3)

Bolt

/ (bəʊlt) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for bolt upright (2 of 3)

bolt

1
/ (bəʊlt) /

noun

verb

adverb

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

British Dictionary definitions for bolt upright (3 of 3)

bolt

2

boult

/ (bəʊlt) /

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
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

Idioms and Phrases with bolt upright (1 of 2)

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).

Idioms and Phrases with bolt upright (2 of 2)

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.