Meaning of bolster

bol•ster

Pronunciation: (bōl'stur), [key]
— n.
  1. a long, often cylindrical, cushion or pillow for a bed, sofa, etc.
  2. anything resembling this in form or in use as a support.
  3. any pillow, cushion, or pad.
    1. Also calledbol&prim;ster plate&sec;.a circular casting on the side of a vessel, through which an anchor chain passes.
    2. a timber used as a temporary support.
    3. a beam for holding lines or rigging without chafing.
    4. a bag filled with buoyant material, fitted into a small boat.
  4. an anvillike support for the lower die of a drop forge.
    1. a timber or the like connecting two ribs of a centering.
    2. a chisel with a blade splayed toward the edge, used for cutting bricks.
  5. a horizontal timber on a post for lessening the free span of a beam.
  6. a structural member on which one end of a bridge truss rests.
—v.t.
  1. to support with or as with a pillow or cushion.
  2. to add to, support, or uphold (sometimes fol. by up): They bolstered their morale by singing. He bolstered up his claim with new evidence.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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