Idioms

Origin of bolt

1
before 1000; Middle English (noun, v., and adv.), Old English (noun), cognate with Dutch bout, German Bolz

SYNONYMS FOR bolt

Related forms

bolt·er, nounbolt·less, adjectivebolt·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for shoot one's bolt (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 shoot one's bolt (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 shoot one's bolt (3 of 3)

bolt

2

boult

/ (bəʊlt) /

verb (tr)

to pass (flour, a powder, etc) through a sieve
to examine and separate

Derived Forms

bolter 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 shoot one's bolt (1 of 2)

shoot one's bolt


Also, shoot one's wad. Do all within one's power; exhaust one's resources or capabilities. For example, They were asking for more ideas but Bob had shot his bolt and couldn't come up with any, or Don't shoot your wad with that article or you won't have any material for the sequels. The first expression comes from archery and referred to using up all of one's bolts (short, heavy arrows fired with a crossbow); it was a proverb by the 1200s. The colloquial variant, dating from about 1900, comes from gambling and refers to spending all of a wad of rolled-up banknotes. Also see shoot the works.

Idioms and Phrases with shoot one's bolt (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.