1. pad. Cushion, pillow, bolster agree in being cases filled with a material more or less resilient, intended to be used as supports for the body or parts of it. A cushion is a soft pad used to sit, lie, or kneel on, or to lean against: cushions on a sofa; cushions on pews in a church. A pillow is a bag or case filled with feathers, down, or other soft material, usually to support the head: to sleep with a pillow under one's head. A bolster is a firm pillow, long enough to extend the width of a bed and used as head support, with or without a pillow. 3. shock absorber.