V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to lift up, encourage, or support

Synonyms: support, encourage, raise, increase, buoy, boost

Antonyms: undermine, weaken, discourage

Tips: When bolster is used as a noun, it refers to a long, supportive pillar or a load-spreading beam in a building. Thus, the verb takes on the same meaning of supporting or upholding when used figuratively. Use the verb bolster to describe situations where you are supporting, encouraging, or propping someone or something up to make them stronger. It is slightly different than buttress, which means "to strengthen," but bolster is more focused on making something stronger, often for defense. For example: you would bolster (lift up, prop up) morale, while you would buttress (strengthen) your legal case or argument.

Usage Examples:

The campaigners set out to bolster their candidate's public image. (raise, increase, boost)

The athlete surged ahead to win the race, bolstered by applause and cheers from the spectators. (strengthened, encouraged)

Your patience and support really bolstered my spirit during a difficult time. (raised, supported)

The doctor said that I should get a bolster to help with my back pain. (support, supportive pillow) noun

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