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

Definition for bolter (2 of 2)


[ 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 bolter

British Dictionary definitions for bolter (1 of 4)


/ (ˈbəʊltə) /

noun Australian informal

an outsider in a contest or race
history an escaped convict; bushranger

British Dictionary definitions for bolter (2 of 4)


/ (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

British Dictionary definitions for bolter (3 of 4)


/ (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

British Dictionary definitions for bolter (4 of 4)




/ (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 bolter


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.