[uhp-hohl-ster, uh-pohl-]
See more synonyms for upholster on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to provide (chairs, sofas, etc.) with coverings, cushions, stuffing, springs, etc.
  2. to furnish (an interior) with hangings, curtains, carpets, or the like.

Origin of upholster

1850–55, Americanism; back formation from upholsterer
Related formsre·up·hol·ster, verb (used with object)un·up·hol·stered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for upholster

drape, stuff, pad, cushion

Examples from the Web for upholster

Historical Examples of upholster

  • How many departed monks were required to upholster these six parlors?

    The Innocents Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Deprive my figure of all drapery, or upholster it like a window-frame.

    Modern Society

    Julia Ward Howe

  • Under these conditions my Scolia-grubs contrive at most to upholster their little pit with a thick down of reddish silk.

    More Hunting Wasps

    J. Henri Fabre

  • In the afternoon with the upholster seeing him do things to my mind, and to my content he did fit my chamber and my wife's.

  • It would have been plain to any eye that it had cost something to upholster these women.

    The Gilded Age, Complete

    Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

British Dictionary definitions for upholster


  1. (tr) to fit (chairs, sofas, etc) with padding, springs, webbing, and covering
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 upholster

1853, back-formation from upholsterer "tradesman who finishes or repairs articles of furniture" (1610s), from upholdester (early 15c.), formed with a diminutive (originally fem.) suffix, from obsolete Middle English noun upholder "dealer in small goods" (early 14c.), from upholden "to repair, uphold, keep from falling or sinking" (in this case, by stuffing); see uphold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper