From Middle English pilwe, from Old English pylwe, pylu, pyle (“pillow”), from Proto-West Germanic *pulwī (“pillow”), from Latin pulvīnus (“cushion”), derived from pulvis (“dust, powder”) + -īnus (“-ine”), for the filler of a pillow. Doublet of pulvinus.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɪləʊ/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpɪloʊ/
Audio (US) (file)
- (US, dialectal) IPA(key): /ˈpɛloʊ/
- Rhymes: -ɪləʊ
- A soft cushion used to support the head in bed.
- 1853, John Ruskin, “Roman Renaissance”, in The Stones of Venice, volume III (The Fall), London: Smith, Elder, and Co., […], →OCLC, § LVII, page 74:
- The appearance of the entire tomb is as if the warrior had seen the vision of Christ in his dying moments, and had fallen back peacefully upon his pillow, with his eyes still turned to it, and his hands clasped in prayer.
- (geology) A pillow lava.
- (engineering) A piece of metal or wood, forming a support to equalize pressure; a brass; a pillow block.
- (nautical) A block under the inner end of a bowsprit.
- The socket of a pivot.
- (uncountable) A kind of plain, coarse fustian.
- body pillow
- boomerang pillow
- dirty pillow
- high pillow
- lace pillow
- lap pillow
- love pillow
- pillow bag
- pillow basalt
- pillow block
- pillow box
- pillow case
- pillow dictionary
- pillow fight
- pillow fort
- pillow lace
- pillow lava
- pillow pouch
- pillow princess
- pillow shading
- pillow talk
- pillow word
- pretzel pillow
- snow pillow
- throw pillow
- → Maori: pera
- (transitive) To rest as on a pillow.
- 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter X, in Francesca Carrara. […], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, […], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 73:
- ...but Lucy was too thoroughly exhausted to awaken. There she lay, her head pillowed upon her arm, like a child that had cried itself to rest; while Francesca bent over her,...
- 1890, Jacob A[ugust] Riis, “The Sweaters of Jewtown”, in How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, page 135:
- As we stop in front of a tenement to watch one of these groups, a dirty baby in a single brief garment—yet a sweet, human little baby despite its dirt and tatters—tumbles off the lowest step, rolls over once, clutches my leg with unconscious grip, and goes to sleep on the flagstones, its curly head pillowed on my boot.
- 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Canongate, published 2006, pages 815–6:
- She had pillowed her head on her arm.