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[uhp-hohl-ster, uh-pohl-] /ʌpˈhoʊl stər, əˈpoʊl-/
verb (used with object)
to provide (chairs, sofas, etc.) with coverings, cushions, stuffing, springs, etc.
to furnish (an interior) with hangings, curtains, carpets, or the like.
Origin of upholster
1850-55, Americanism; back formation from upholsterer
Related forms
reupholster, verb (used with object)
unupholstered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for upholstered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a little gem of a stateroom, upholstered in pale green to relieve the glare from the water.

  • The furniture of the office was some old Empire stuff, upholstered in red velvet.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • Before the window stood a large Voltaire chair, upholstered in tapestry.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • This may or may not be upholstered, dependent on the character of the material of which it is made.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • Three months later, on a secular evening, the upholstered pews of an uptown church were filled with a fashionable audience.

  • Carpets, hangings and upholstered furniture must be removed.

    The Mother and Her Child William S. Sadler
  • She turned her head toward him, her cheek resting flat against the upholstered chintz back.

    The Business of Life Robert W. Chambers
  • This is then upholstered with leather without using springs.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • There was a thick oriental carpet on the floor, and all the mahogany furniture was upholstered in red morocco.

    The Man in the Twilight Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for upholstered


(transitive) 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
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Word Origin and History for upholstered



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
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