follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

bolster

[bohl-ster] /ˈboʊl stər/
noun
1.
a long, often cylindrical, cushion or pillow for a bed, sofa, etc.
2.
anything resembling this in form or in use as a support.
3.
any pillow, cushion, or pad.
4.
Nautical.
  1. Also called bolster plate. a circular casting on the side of a vessel, through which an anchor chain passes.
  2. a timber used as a temporary support.
  3. a beam for holding lines or rigging without chafing.
  4. a bag filled with buoyant material, fitted into a small boat.
5.
Metalworking. an anvillike support for the lower die of a drop forge.
6.
Masonry.
  1. a timber or the like connecting two ribs of a centering.
  2. a chisel with a blade splayed toward the edge, used for cutting bricks.
7.
Carpentry. a horizontal timber on a post for lessening the free span of a beam.
8.
a structural member on which one end of a bridge truss rests.
verb (used with object)
9.
to support with or as with a pillow or cushion.
10.
to add to, support, or uphold (sometimes followed by up):
They bolstered their morale by singing. He bolstered up his claim with new evidence.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English bolstre (noun), Old English bolster; cognate with Old Norse bolstr, Dutch bolster, German Polster
Related forms
bolsterer, noun
unbolster, verb (used with object)
unbolstered, adjective
Synonyms
1. See cushion. 10. strengthen, sustain, aid, reinforce, fortify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for bolster
  • In science, one should always be extremely skeptical of claims which bolster the ideology of the person making the claim.
  • New numbers bolster the claim that records became a lot more popular last year.
  • Only a few handfuls got quickly added to bolster the numbers.
  • He pledged to remodel stores, improve customer service and bolster inventory.
  • He actually accused me of lying to bolster a law suit.
  • The Alabama college had hoped that its move to less-costly ranks would erase its financial problems and bolster enrollment.
  • Tyco plans plant closings to bolster its shares .
  • This new study seems to bolster that view.
  • Democrats weigh options to bolster stem cell research.
  • Not incidentally, it will also bolster her chances of ascending to greater power.
British Dictionary definitions for bolster

bolster

/ˈbəʊlstə/
verb (transitive)
1.
(often foll by up) to support or reinforce; strengthen to bolster morale
2.
to prop up with a pillow or cushion
3.
to add padding to to bolster a dress
noun
4.
a long narrow pillow or cushion
5.
any pad or padded support
6.
(architect) a short horizontal length of timber fixed to the top of a post to increase the bearing area and reduce the span of the supported beam
7.
a cold chisel having a broad blade splayed towards the cutting edge, used for cutting stone slabs, etc
Derived Forms
bolsterer, noun
bolstering, noun, adjective
Word Origin
Old English bolster; related to Old Norse bolstr, Old High German bolstar, Dutch bulster
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bolster
bolster
O.E. bolster "bolster, cushion, something stuffed so that it swells up," especially "long, stuffed pillow," from P.Gmc. *bolkhstraz (cf. O.N. bolstr, Dan., Swed., Du. bolster, Ger. polster), from PIE *bhelgh- "to swell" (see belly). The verb in the figurative sense is from c.1500, on the notion of "to support with a bolster, prop up."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
bolster in the Bible

The Hebrew word _kebir_, rendered "pillow" in 1 Sam. 19:13, 16, but in Revised Version marg. "quilt" or "network," probably means some counterpane or veil intended to protect the head of the sleeper. A different Hebrew word (meraashoth') is used for "bolster" (1 Sam. 26:7, 11, 16). It is rightly rendered in Revised Version "at his head." In Gen. 28:11, 18 the Authorized Version renders it "for his pillows," and the Revised Version "under his head." In Ezek. 13:18, 20 another Hebrew word (kesathoth) is used, properly denoting "cushions" or "pillows," as so rendered both in the Authorized and the Revised Version.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for bolster

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bolster

9
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bolster