See also: Bolster

English

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A bolster on a bed.

Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Middle English bolster, bolstre, from Old English bolster (pillow), from Proto-West Germanic *bolstr, from Proto-Germanic *bulstraz (pillow, cushion). Cognate with Scots bowster (bolster), West Frisian bulster (mattress), Dutch bolster (husk, shell), German Polster (bolster, pillow, pad), Swedish bolster (soft mattress, bolster), Icelandic bólstur (pillow).

Pronunciation

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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɒlstə/, /ˈbəʊlstə/; [ˈbɒʊlstə]
    • Audio (Southern England); /ˈbɒlstə/:(file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈboʊlstɚ/

Noun

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Bolster or pillow (structural) (geograph.org.uk - 325191)

bolster (plural bolsters)

  1. A large cushion or pillow, usually cylindrical in shape.
    Synonym: hotdog pillow
  2. A pad, quilt, or anything used to hinder pressure, support part of the body, or make a bandage sit easy upon a wounded part; a compress.
  3. (vehicles, agriculture) A small spacer located on top of the axle of horse-drawn wagons that gives the front wheels enough clearance to turn.
  4. A short, horizontal structural timber between a post and a beam for enlarging the bearing area of the post and/or reducing the span of the beam.
    Synonyms: cross-head, pillow
  5. A beam in the middle of a railway truck, supporting the body of the car.
  6. The perforated plate in a punching machine on which anything rests when being punched.
  7. The part of a knife blade that abuts upon the end of the handle.
  8. The metallic end of a pocketknife handle.
  9. (architecture) The rolls forming the ends or sides of the Ionic capital.
    • 1826, Francesco Milizia, The Lives of Celebrated Architects Ancient and Modern:
      Its [the Ionic's column's] ancient capital is generally formed of two parallel bolsters
  10. (military, historical) A block of wood on the carriage of a siege gun, upon which the breech of the gun rests when arranged for transportation.

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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Verb

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bolster (third-person singular simple present bolsters, present participle bolstering, simple past and past participle bolstered)

  1. (transitive, often figurative) To brace, reinforce, secure, or support.
    • 2017 January 20, Annie Zaleski, “AFI sounds refreshed and rejuvenated on its 10th album, AFI (The Blood Album)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Puget also teamed up with Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer) to co-produce the record, which was another smart move: Together, the pair ensures that AFI (The Blood Album)‘s arrangements are streamlined, but bolstered by just the right amount of atmospheric texture.
    • 2019 October, Philip Sherratt, “Midland Main Line upgrade presses on”, in Modern Railways, page 62:
      However, once the bi-modes come on stream this [the power supply] will need to be bolstered by a feed at Braybrooke, just south of Market Harborough, for which reason the Department for Transport has supported the extension of overhead electrification from Kettering to Market Harborough.
    • 2022 January 12, Chris Hegg, “The secret railway in the woods”, in RAIL, number 948, page 36:
      At the outbreak of the Second World War, the number of locomotives at the depot was bolstered by the loan of several tank engines from the GWR, usually fitted with the distinctive "balloon" spark arrestors.
    • 2023 May 8, Matt Spetalnick, “Top Biden aide discusses Yemen peace efforts with Saudi crown prince”, in Reuters[2]:
      On a trip aimed at bolstering often-frayed ties with Riyadh, Sullivan also held joint talks with the crown prince, UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan and India national security adviser Ajit Doval "to advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world," the White House said.

Derived terms

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Translations

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Anagrams

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Dutch

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Etymology

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From Middle Dutch bolster, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *bulstraz. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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bolster m (plural bolsters, diminutive bolstertje n)

  1. a bur, a spiny cupule, often of a chestnut

Derived terms

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Middle English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Old English bolster, from Proto-Germanic *bulstraz.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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bolster (plural bolsters)

  1. A soft stuffed bag to lie or lean on; a cushion or pillow.
  2. (rare) A pad; a piece of cushioning.
  3. (rare) A supporting piece of metal.

Descendants

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  • English: bolster
  • Scots: bowster, bouster, boster

References

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Old English

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Etymology

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From Proto-Germanic *bulstraz.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈbol.ster/, [ˈboɫ.ster]

Noun

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bolster m

  1. pillow, cushion
    Tō slāpenne iċ þearf simle hūru twēġa bolstra.
    I always need at least two pillows to sleep.

Declension

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Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Descendants

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Swedish

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Etymology

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From Old Swedish bulster, bolster, from Old Norse bólstr, bulstr, from Proto-Germanic *bulstraz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (bag, pillow, paunch).

Noun

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bolster n

  1. a bolster (a large cushion or pillow)

Declension

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Declension of bolster 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative bolster bolstret bolster bolstren
Genitive bolsters bolstrets bolsters bolstrens

Further reading

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