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”).
bolster (plural bolsters)
- A large cushion or pillow.
- c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- And here I'll fling the pillow, there the bolster, / This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.
- 1907 April, E[dward] M[organ] Forster, chapter VII, in The Longest Journey, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 10135504, part I (Cambridge), page 88:
- ["]Don't you know how [Joseph Mallord William] Turner spoils his pictures by introducing a man like a bolster in the foreground? Well, in actual life every landscape is spoilt by men of worse shapes still." / "You sound like a bolster with the stuffing out." They laughed.
- 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.
- , [John] Gay, The What D’Ye Call It: A Tragi-comi-pastoral Farce, London: […] Bernard Lintott […], OCLC 723168462, Act I, scene i, page 11:
- This Arm ſhall be a Bolſter for thy Head, / I'll fetch clean Straw to make my Soldier's Bed; / There, while thou ſleep'ſt, my Apron o'er thee hold, / Or with it patch thy Tent againſt the Cold.
- (vehicles, agriculture) A small spacer located on top of the axle of horse-drawn wagons that gives the front wheels enough clearance to turn.
- 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.
- A beam in the middle of a railway truck, supporting the body of the car.
- The perforated plate in a punching machine on which anything rests when being punched.
- The part of a knife blade that abuts upon the end of the handle.
- The metallic end of a pocketknife handle.
- (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
- (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.
- (transitive, often figuratively) 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:
- 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.
bolster (plural bolsters)
- A soft stuffed bag to lie or lean on; a cushion or pillow.
- (rare) A pad; a piece of cushioning.
- (rare) A supporting piece of metal.
- pillow, cushion
- Tō slāpenne iċ þearf simle hūru twēġa bolstra.
- I always need at least two pillows to sleep.
From Old Swedish bulster, bolster, from Old Norse bólstr, bulstr, from Proto-Germanic *bulstraz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (“bag, pillow, paunch”). Compare Icelandic bólstur, Dutch bolster, German Polster and English bolster.
|Declension of bolster|