Main definitions of bolt in English

: bolt1bolt2bolt3bolt4

bolt1

noun

  • 1A large metal pin, in particular:

    1. 1.1 A bar that slides into a socket to fasten a door or window.
      • ‘The bolt on the door squeaked open and the knob turned.’
      • ‘Once inside, Paddy fastened the three locks and bolts on the door before tapping in the security code which activated the magnetic seal.’
      • ‘There are old people in the town who are frightened and have three or four bolts on the door.’
      • ‘In a deadbolt lock, there is no spring mechanism - the turning cylinder slides the bolt forward and backward.’
      • ‘We quickly unload cases, leave them with our bags and personal belongings in the store room and lock the door with the sliding bolt and padlock.’
      • ‘She was dozing off to sleep when the bolts in the door were drawn back.’
      • ‘The large sash windows of his 100-year-old home were fitted with bolts, and a mortise lock and a spy hole were fitted in his front door.’
      • ‘Crossing to the door, she threw the top and bottom bolts, lifted the door latch and shoved against the heavy oak door.’
      • ‘The bolt noisily slid away, and they opened the door.’
      • ‘To reduce the risk of wandering, put a slide bolt high on every door that leads to the outside or to a stairwell, or use a deadbolt that requires a key.’
      • ‘There was the sound of a bolt sliding out, and she opened the door.’
      • ‘I slid a bolt to the other side, and opened up the old door.’
      • ‘I edged out of the cell and slid the bolt in place, and made my way back to the ramp.’
      • ‘The door had a single bolt that had been neglected for so long that it was rusting and squeaked as they pulled it back.’
      • ‘The footsteps retreated quickly from inside her cell, the door clanging shut and the bolt scraped across the metal, signaling the door was locked.’
      • ‘I was only awakened by the sound of someone fiddling with the bolt on the door.’
      • ‘Ashley shook as she ran to the door and pulled the bolt back.’
      • ‘While the lock on the main gate was intact, they broke the bolt of the main door and forced their entry into the house.’
      • ‘Their front door was fitted with a Yale lock, two bolts and a security chain.’
      • ‘He reached through the hole in the door and slid the bolt on the inside.’
      bar, lock, catch, latch, fastener, hasp, pin
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A long pin with a head that screws into a nut, used to fasten things together.
      • ‘Computers should be secured to the side of a desk or the floor using strips of metal, bolts or screws, or newer locking devices created just for this purpose.’
      • ‘Six drivers were prevented from travelling any further after their vehicles were found to have loose axle bolts, defective tyres and broken springs.’
      • ‘It took workers 53,000 hours and 27,000 bolts and rivets to put it back together.’
      • ‘The protesters refused to disperse, and apparently some started throwing metal bolts and blocks of wood at the police.’
      • ‘The vehicle can be dismantled easily by loosening the bolts holding it together.’
      • ‘You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver to fasten the bolt to the backplate.’
      • ‘Six million bolts hold the bridge together and not a single one has loosened since the bridge was opened in 1932.’
      • ‘Screws, nails and bolts can all be used in the assembly of the components.’
      • ‘The vet put a series of metal splints and bolts in place.’
      • ‘They removed damaged tissue and inserted bolts and pins, trying to piece together his shattered bones and tendons.’
      • ‘A good toolbox has lots of trays designed to hold all those odd bits of hardware, such as screws and bolts, washers, nuts, and nails.’
      • ‘As a child, Gail had undergone treatment that involved having metal bolts and screws inserted through her skull and spine.’
      • ‘We also spotted a chunk of metal and a bolt missing from the gearbox.’
      • ‘At one stage in his career he had metal plates in both knees, 28 screws in his legs and a bolt in his left wrist.’
      • ‘The remaining bolts which held the rail to the metal stakes creaked and groaned with the strain.’
      • ‘Titanium can be joined to itself or dissimilar metals with titanium bolts or with cadmium-plated steel bolts.’
      • ‘It is much simpler to loosen the two bolts and change machines instead.’
      • ‘Use only non-corrosive nails, bolts and screws to prevent staining.’
      • ‘So began a painstaking operation to replace bolts and an expansion joint on the carriageway taking traffic out of the city, which was completed in 1969.’
      • ‘He got down on his hands and knees and examined the big bolts fastening it to the cement.’
      rivet, pin, peg, screw
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 The sliding piece of the breech mechanism of a rifle.
      • ‘They replaced the missing bolt in the one rifle and supplied new magazines for the two Camp Reed guns.’
      • ‘Later analysis determined this round fired prematurely, causing the gun to jam due to stress on the breech bolt in the unlocked position.’
      • ‘I store my ammo locked up separately from my weapons, I have trigger locks, and keep the bolts or firing pins out of my guns when stored.’
      • ‘I grabbed for the rifle and snapped the bolt back, safety off, but held my fire.’
      • ‘He slid the bolt back on top of his rifle allowing the first bullet to rest in the chamber.’
      • ‘However, with conventional guns, the standing breech acts as a bolt sealing off the rear of the chamber.’
      • ‘This feature allowed Winchester to use the same bolts in its rifles as for the .308-based cartridges.’
      • ‘A magazine slipped into place with a smooth click, the bolt slid back and forth freely.’
      • ‘Inserting the next magazine, I was confounded when the bolt merely slid over the top round.’
      • ‘He pulled back the bolt of the rifle with a sharp snap to ready it.’
      • ‘He moved a hand guardedly down toward the bolt on his rifle.’
      • ‘I worked the bolt, feeling the mechanism glide smoothly and lock into place with a well-machined snick.’
      • ‘He pulled back on the rifle's bolt, sending a spent shell whizzing out of the chamber.’
      • ‘Then he slid the bolt home, engaged the chamber by sliding a metal lever forward, and propped the weapon on the window ledge.’
    4. 1.4Mountaineering A long pin that is driven into a rock face so that a rope can be attached to it.
      • ‘Determined not to let it ruin my trip, I ended up getting really good at using my left hand for climbing, and hammering in bolts and pitons.’
      • ‘In the longer sizes this bolt has two expansion clips, making it a good choice for medium strength rock.’
      • ‘After tightening the bolt and clipping the rope in, I had nothing left to do than test my theory.’
      • ‘The climb was a simple lead to a bolt where we set up a tope rope.’
      • ‘She climbed with effortless grace and clipped the rope to the top bolt.’
  • 2A short, heavy arrow shot from a crossbow.

    • ‘Alex reached over and grabbed one of the bolts from the crossbow.’
    • ‘Usually, it took a long time to load a crossbow bolt into the bow.’
    • ‘They took five shotguns, a longbow, arrows, a crossbow and bolts.’
    • ‘Jonathan pulled out the shaft of the crossbow bolt, leaving the tip still embedded.’
    • ‘A group of soldiers come out with crossbows ready, their bolts burning at the end.’
    • ‘Rich pulled the trigger of his crossbow and the bolt shot out.’
    • ‘The astonished defenders recovered in a few moments and began pelting the attackers with arrows and bolts once again.’
    • ‘This crossbow had a silver bolt loaded into it, and three more bolts with it.’
    • ‘A crossbow bolt and a ball of flame shot into the guards at the gate.’
    • ‘I slow motion I saw the crossbow bolt hit her in the chest, sinking in.’
    • ‘I rubbed the thin, pale scar on my arm where the crossbow bolt had grazed me.’
    • ‘The bolt left the crossbow with amazing velocity, striking the target with near-perfect accuracy.’
    • ‘There were two awful thuds as the crossbow bolts buried themselves in the captain's back.’
    • ‘Crossbow bolts and arrows passed like clouds across the face of the sun.’
    • ‘The sniper crossbow fires bolts that set whatever they hit aflame.’
    • ‘He let the bolt of the crossbow go without a second thought.’
    • ‘Crossbow bolts filled the air, making lethal whistling noises as they whizzed past.’
    • ‘Once Richard had been felled by a bolt from a crossbow, Philip began to enjoy success on the battlefield.’
    • ‘He was hit with a bolt from the crossbow and then struck a number of times across the back of the head.’
    • ‘A goose miraculously survived when two bolts fired from a crossbow went through its neck.’
    arrow, quarrel, dart, shaft, missile, projectile
    View synonyms
  • 3A jagged white flash of lightning.

    • ‘A bolt of lightning flashed across the horizon and lit the sky.’
    • ‘A bolt of lightning descended from the heavens in a blinding flash of yellow light accompanied by the rumble seconds later.’
    • ‘The heritage railway is now faced with the task of replacing all of the electrical items in the station, which were frazzled by the bolt of lightning.’
    • ‘The boy was doing homework on his computer when a bolt of lightning struck him on the back.’
    • ‘Accompanied by a sharp crash of thunder, a bolt of lightning came down from the sky and struck a nearby oak tree.’
    • ‘There's a loud crack of thunder and a bolt of lightning shoots across the sky.’
    • ‘A bolt of lightning hit his house earlier this month and damaged most of the electrical equipment inside.’
    • ‘Dozens of lightning bolts lit the night sky as an electrical storm swept the region.’
    • ‘A great bolt of white lightning flashed out of thin air.’
    • ‘Suddenly, out of the sky, a bolt of lightning flashed down at the travelers.’
    • ‘A cricketer was killed by a lightning bolt in a country league game in New South Wales state, police said Saturday.’
    • ‘The night was pitch-black, and the only source of light was from the lightning bolts which flashed through the darkened sky every now and then.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the forest lit up as five bolts of white lightning rained down from the sky.’
    • ‘She saw a flash of blue as a bolt of lightning struck the awning outside the shop.’
    • ‘A lightning bolt struck outside the window, shedding some light on the empty bed before him.’
    • ‘Like sheet lightning, these flashes are created by lightning bolts, but are in thunderstorms more than 10 miles away.’
    • ‘A small bolt of lightning flashes, and the thunder follows soon after.’
    • ‘Some of the more spectacular and scary displays of lightning feature forked lightning bolts.’
    • ‘There was a sudden flash of white light and a jagged bolt came down from the night sky.’
    • ‘Neighbours looked on in horror as a bolt of lightning hit the rear of a block of flats.’
    flash, shaft, streak, burst, discharge, flare, fulmination
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Fasten with a bolt, in particular:

    1. 1.1 Fasten (a door or window) with a bar that slides into a socket:
      ‘all the doors were locked and bolted’
      • ‘As soon as I closed the door behind myself, there was a resounding clunk, as the door was bolted shut.’
      • ‘When they reached the base, they shut and bolted the door.’
      • ‘The man came back for a second time and they pushed him out again and bolted the door.’
      • ‘He did not hear the quiet motion of the door being bolted.’
      • ‘I can now safely bolt the door, and semi-hibernate for a couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Despite the lack of room, the crew forced everyone down below and then bolted the hatch.’
      • ‘As she stood in the room, all was silent, except for the quiet breathing from everyone, and the sound of the door being bolted shut.’
      • ‘In a panic, my father bolted the door and shut all the windows.’
      • ‘That night, she made sure to double check the locks on all the windows and bolt the door.’
      • ‘Trudy ran behind him only to hear the door being bolted from the outside.’
      • ‘When she became distressed, he stopped, walked off and bolted the door shut behind him.’
      • ‘He watched as guards locked and bolted the heavy door to the strongroom where the cargo from the wreck had been stacked.’
      • ‘Anybody who reads the newspapers regularly could be forgiven for locking and bolting the front door and resolving never to set foot outside again.’
      • ‘After they entered the chamber, the door was bolted.’
      • ‘Then she raced upstairs, bolted her door, and started to cry.’
      • ‘He managed to get his colleague to go into the back room and bolt the door, so that she was safe, and then, while the robber was not looking, triggered the call for the police.’
      • ‘Kelley slipped off her heels with relief, locking and bolting the apartment door.’
      • ‘Once I was upstairs and had bolted the door behind me, I looked at my watch.’
      • ‘Chains are wrapped across the inside of his door and all the windows are bolted shut.’
      • ‘Even if it meant the door being bolted and locked, there was no way I was going to leave that room.’
      • ‘The blockade caused chaos on the A59 as protesters, using D-locks, tripods and chains, closed and bolted the two side entrance gates.’
      • ‘‘Wait, I must search the house,’ said the old man, and left, bolting the door behind him.’
      lock, bar, fasten, latch, secure, seal
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object and adverbial of place] Fasten (something) to something else with a long pin that screws into a nut:
      ‘the lid was bolted down’
      figurative ‘new benefits have been bolted on to the social security system’
      • ‘He had wanted to bolt it onto a lamppost, but council planning officers refused permission.’
      • ‘Some car companies have been bolting them on for years.’
      • ‘The frame is securely bolted to the workshop floor.’
      • ‘The consultants recognized, too, that their success depended on more than simply bolting a flashy Web site to an existing business.’
      • ‘When police arrived they found that they had stolen the internal cash machine, which had been bolted to the floor.’
      • ‘The girder can rest on top of the posts attached with metal fasteners or two girders can sandwich the posts and be bolted or nailed to them.’
      • ‘Instead of bolting the binding to the top of the ski, the binding is attached through the middle of the ski from the sides.’
      • ‘Adam said he would return and bolt it back to the wall a couple of days later.’
      • ‘Four headlamps would never really take off until Audi bolted them to the front of their Quattro rally car in 1980.’
      • ‘Other reduction gearboxes were quite common in Britain, but they were bolted to the rear of the gear box.’
      • ‘The scissors component was added, the platform was bolted on.’
      • ‘The track was bolted to the ceiling.’
      • ‘I like the way that the Indian vocal runs in the background all the way through the track, rather than being bolted on as an occasional sample.’
      • ‘We also wanted to make it cyclone proof, so John came up with a unique fixing system to bolt the panel to the slab.’
      • ‘The multi-link rear suspension is bolted directly to the unibody without subframe or rubber isolation.’
      • ‘I welded a bracket with a pad for bolting a vise to the square tubing that fits into the receiver hitch on the rear of my pickup.’
      • ‘These are bolted to the engine block and sealed with the aforementioned head gasket.’
      • ‘They then had to place the heavy new tyres over the wheels and bolt them on.’
      • ‘With the bike upside down, clamp the top of the seatpost into a large bench vise that is bolted to a very secure workbench.’
      • ‘Each center piece was individually bolted to its matching end trusses, and then they too were joined by joists and covered with metal decking.’
      rivet, pin, clamp, peg, screw, batten, pinion
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • a bolt from (or out of) the blue

    • A sudden and unexpected event:

      ‘the job came like a bolt from the blue’
      • ‘‘Being diagnosed with cancer came as a bolt out of the blue really,’ he said.’
      • ‘Indeed, this announcement came like a bolt out of the blue.’
      • ‘These increases have come like a bolt out of the blue and some of our tenants were reduced to tears.’
      • ‘It was like a bolt from the blue when he called to say they were separating.’
      • ‘He says he received no prior warning from the local authority and that the news was a bolt out of the blue.’
      • ‘This accusation about Nicky has come like a bolt out of the blue.’
      • ‘This latest £5m expense for the dump has come like a bolt out of the blue for all of us.’
      • ‘To much of the global community, the events of November 1938 came like a bolt out of the blue.’
      • ‘‘It was definitely a bolt out of the blue,’ she told the Evening Press.’
      • ‘It would be an understatement to say that it was a bolt out of the blue.’
      shock, surprise, bombshell, jolt, thunderbolt, revelation, source of amazement
      turn-up for the books, shocker, whammy
      View synonyms
  • bolt upright

    • With the back very straight:

      ‘she sat bolt upright in bed’
      • ‘The service lasted about an hour, but for the entire time she sat bolt upright, and her back never touched the back of the chair.’
      • ‘He sat bolt upright, in a cold sweat, breathing heavily and feeling dazed.’
      • ‘My 83 year old patient sat cross legged and bolt upright in the middle of his large double bed.’
      • ‘Sarah suddenly sat bolt upright in bed, sweat pouring down her forehead.’
      • ‘I sat bolt upright with a gasp, sweating and shaking and completely disoriented.’
      • ‘She sat bolt upright, crying out for her mother in fright at the noise, terrified by the pitch blackness around her.’
      • ‘She woke up with a sudden start and sat bolt upright in bed.’
      • ‘He sits bolt upright, his hand fumbling around for the reading glasses.’
      • ‘The legislators, well aware that they were being filmed and photographed by the media, sat bolt upright with alert expressions.’
      • ‘My mother sat angrily bolt upright while they read Grandpa's will.’
      straight, rigidly, stiffly, completely upright
      View synonyms
  • have shot one's bolt

    • Have done all that is in one's power:

      ‘Jean had shot her bolt as far as her Italian was concerned’
      • ‘We have shot our bolt and couldn't now take similar action elsewhere, even if this were desirable.’
      • ‘She had shot her bolt before the third bend.’
      • ‘He had shot his bolt in that third-game tiebreaker and the 9-0 fourth was the price he paid.’
      • ‘He had shot his bolt by the seventies, retreating into gloomy introspection.’
      • ‘The horse was unable to sustain the gallop and had shot his bolt by the time they reached the final bend.’
      • ‘Four miles out and I began dimly to understand that I had shot my bolt.’
      • ‘Palace had shot their bolt and it was no surprise when City levelled midway through the half, although the scorer would have fooled a few.’
      • ‘Hate to tempt fate, but France appear to have shot their bolt.’
      • ‘You can put it down to lack of expertise in playing over five days, a woeful shortage of staying power or, quite simply, they had shot their bolt.’
      • ‘I had waited all these years for him to slip up and now he has shot his bolt.’

Origin

Old English, arrow, of unknown origin; related to Dutch bout and German Bolzen arrow, bolt for a door.

Pronunciation:

bolt

/bəʊlt/

Main definitions of bolt in English

: bolt1bolt2bolt3bolt4

bolt2

verb

  • 1[no object] (of a horse or other animal) run away suddenly, typically from fear:

    ‘the horses shied and bolted’
    • ‘They were enjoying a horse drawn carriage ride to the Briksdal Valley glacier when one of the dozen or so horses bolted on the way back.’
    • ‘Wild animals shook at the sound of the hounds; deer bolted for the hills.’
    • ‘I too, had no choice, for my mare fairly bolted after them, and I held on as hard as I could.’
    • ‘A small black cat bolted across the road in the direction Star was traveling.’
    • ‘The cat bolted off the road, maddened by the sudden noise and left the devastating scene far behind.’
    • ‘Wearing traditional garb and astride a horse, her cover was blown when the beast bolted and threw her off, exposing her camera.’
    • ‘One of the horses bolted - possibly because it had been bitten or stung by an insect - and caused the rest of the animals to stampede.’
    • ‘Startled, the horse bolted, carrying its rider away even faster, though the rider was worried only about holding on.’
    • ‘You were knocked unconscious and your horse bolted for home.’
    • ‘If the horses had bolted or if a rocket had hit us we could have been killed.’
    • ‘The immediate counter to that concern is that the horse has already bolted out of that barn.’
    • ‘The wolf bolted from the alley.’
    • ‘Police and a vet were called, but the distressed cow bolted across greens and fairways and out of reach of pursuers trying to corner it in order to sedate it.’
    • ‘A teenage girl from South Yorkshire died instantly after her horse bolted out of control and into the path of a car, an inquest heard yesterday.’
    • ‘The instant the reins were passed, the horse bolted to a full gallop flying down the dirt road.’
    • ‘With no person on the sled to slow it down, the dogs bolted.’
    • ‘Suddenly a huge bang is heard and both horses bolt for it.’
    • ‘Two sheep bolted through the opening she had left, then stopped, staring wild-eyed into the night.’
    • ‘There was a considerable amount of equine rebellion as horses spooked, bolted and whirled.’
    • ‘The unattended horse bolted and damaged the plaintiff's property.’
    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial of direction] (of a person) move or run away suddenly in an attempt to escape:
      ‘they bolted down the stairs’
      • ‘Nobody in the neighborhood apparently paid special attention to the fugitives' activities until after they had bolted.’
      • ‘Any actual customers had bolted from the place with half eaten whoppers in their hands fearing some kind of massive overthrowing or revolt.’
      • ‘After all, what kind of person would bolt from a new party so soon after they helped to create it?’
      • ‘Then both William and Ashley bolted for their respective rooms.’
      • ‘Once I was done I nearly bolted out of the lobby and the station.’
      • ‘The gong sounded, and as the boys bolted forward, Nicola suddenly went light-headed.’
      • ‘The tavern-master yelled at the figure bolting up the stairs.’
      • ‘He then felt a strong impulse coming from his stomach and he then bolted for the nearest bathroom, however he couldn't remember where one was.’
      • ‘Ryan bolted up the stairs and Sheehan went barreling after him.’
      • ‘There were no visible signs of dementia or signs she might bolt into Canada if we all stopped looking for just one second.’
      • ‘Buddy bolted towards the hospital room, arriving just as Maureen was leaving.’
      • ‘Buddy bolted, bounding down the driveway and across the street, heading right for me.’
      • ‘In the semi-final Michael bolted into the changing rooms because he didn't want to take a penalty!’
      • ‘Steve bolted from the office leaving a perplexed Mrs. Smythe in his wake.’
      • ‘Instead Sam bolted for the stairs that lead to the upper floor of the house.’
      • ‘I'll usually bolt out of bed and stumble around as if drunk, in an effort to find the obnoxious noise and shut it off.’
      • ‘George bolted, and Scott, my other pal was closet to the gang now, walking down the hill after us.’
      • ‘A plane homed in on the Corolla, and, as the family bolted from the car, bombs fell within a few feet of them.’
      • ‘Without thinking, Ryan bolted up the stairs, leaving the children to struggle on their own.’
      • ‘I practically bolted from the car and towards the bridal room.’
      dash, dart, run, sprint, hurtle, rush, hurry, fly, shoot, flash, spring, leap, bound, start
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object] (in hunting) cause (a rabbit or fox) to run from its burrow or hole:
      ‘a ferret progresses through the holes bolting rabbits’
      ‘the rabbits can be bolted out’
      • ‘The terrier will either bolt the fox or drive it back to a stationary position.’
      • ‘We wait until the dog marks an occupied burrow then enter a ferret to hopefully bolt the rabbit.’
      • ‘Occasionally, our ferrets are taken along to bolt rabbits from their warrens so the birds can pursue them.’
      • ‘This versatile, agreeable breed can go to ground, bolt a fox or tackle and dispatch other small vermin, working alone or in a pack.’
    3. 1.3 (of a plant) grow quickly upwards and stop flowering as seeds develop:
      ‘the lettuces have bolted’
      • ‘Here's something I can't seem to plant enough of and it only grows in cool weather, bolting to seed at the slightest hint of heat.’
      • ‘Grown outdoors they tend to bolt in summer but indoors or under a cloche they should crop right through until Easter.’
      • ‘It bolts and flowers two or three weeks before other common mustard species.’
      • ‘Most of the herbicides work best before the weeds have bolted.’
      • ‘Separate analyses were conducted for plants bolting in 1986, 1987, and 1988.’
      • ‘Hot weather will cause the plants to bolt just like regular mustard.’
      • ‘Over the years I've learned to plant black radish after midsummer so it will not bolt to flower before forming a root.’
      • ‘Use transplants in February for a quick crop of lettuce and broccoli before the weather heats up and the plants bolt.’
      • ‘If present, these weeds should be treated by mid-April, before weeds bolt.’
      • ‘By now most of your herbs have bolted to seed and should be re-planted.’
      • ‘They bolt quickly, flower and before you know it, they are setting seed.’
      • ‘Alternatively, whole plants were allowed to bolt.’
      • ‘For obvious reasons, this method is not compatible with mowing or spraying after plants bolt.’
      • ‘Coriander grows well in autumn, winter and spring but tends to bolt to seed in the hot weather.’
      • ‘Once established, plants are more likely to grow large and bolt on a rock or moss substrate with low than with high leaf litter cover.’
      • ‘Newer varieties offered by the seed companies are slow to bolt in summer heat, and can be used to extend the growing season.’
      • ‘The only caveat is they have a tendency to bolt to flower and seed as days become longer in spring.’
      • ‘One of the three plants that bolted did so in its second year and two in their third year.’
      • ‘New leaves begin to form on rosettes in early March, about the same time plants that are old enough to flower start bolting.’
      • ‘Plants bolt quickly, too, so sow seeds in small batches every few weeks.’
  • 2[with object] Eat (food) quickly:

    ‘there's no need to bolt your food’
    • ‘People under stress may also bolt their food, creating extra work for their digestive juices.’
    • ‘After bolting down our food, it's always back to work.’
    • ‘I was used to their bolting chunks of food, but to them, taking small bites and chewing them thoroughly would be most unusual.’
    • ‘If we bolted our food and ran down the street, we might just catch him before he went off duty, and claim a penny on the empty bottle.’
    • ‘Arun seized the bowl and bolted the cold food himself, spurred both by hope and the fledgling's panting breaths.’
    • ‘Indigestion is aggravated by ‘hurry sickness’ - eating on the run and bolting down your food.’
    gobble, gulp, wolf, guzzle, devour, gorge on, gorge oneself on, eat greedily, eat hungrily
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from bolt, expressing the sense ‘fly like an arrow’.

Pronunciation:

bolt

/bəʊlt/

Main definitions of bolt in English

: bolt1bolt2bolt3bolt4

bolt3

noun

  • 1A roll of fabric, originally as a measure:

    ‘the room was stacked with bolts of cloth’
    • ‘How many bolts of cloth do they use to create one of his suits?’
    • ‘There are bolts of taupe fabric draped on the windows, and the lighting is muted.’
    • ‘Your closest quilt shop is getting new bolts of fabric in now.’
    • ‘As she was sealing it Maria came bustling into the room, carrying large bolts of fabric.’
    • ‘The traveling merchants usually stocked bolts of cloth and sewing notions such as needle and thread and had stands on which to measure the cloth.’
    • ‘Perhaps, Rebekah mused, she could ask for the scraps at the end of fabric bolts and make a rag rug for the cold wooden floor.’
    • ‘Bella could see here there, sitting thoughtfully amongst the bolts of fabric.’
    • ‘You can buy it from fabric stores that stock bolts of fabric, or you can order it from fabric books.’
    • ‘These people, according to the entrepreneur, have to run around picking up bolts of fabric to get clothes stitched.’
    • ‘She grabbed my pack and opened it, pulling out a couple of bolts of cloth.’
    • ‘The guards checked their wares, and finding only bolts of cloth and a few jars of spice, allowed them to pass.’
    • ‘Hurriedly, he held up two bolts of fabric, one green, one blue.’
    • ‘Vandy hurried up and down a rolling ladder with various bolts of cloth, putting one back almost as soon as she pulled it out.’
    • ‘Georgie is at the head of them all pulling half-sewn gowns and bolts of fabric out of a trunk.’
    • ‘We played with the bolts of silk for quite a long time and finally settled on five different patterns.’
    • ‘In the haberdashery department, he found gloves and other items lying around outside of their boxes and bolts of fabric lying on dirty floors.’
    • ‘In some pieces, he attached cardboard tubes or bolts of fabric that stand out a foot or more from the wall, and other times he left large gaping holes in the canvas.’
    • ‘Elaborate caliper rules were developed to measure cloth on the bolt, without unwinding it.’
    • ‘In the basement is the cutting room, where huge bolts of cloth are readied to be made into men's T-shirts and underwear.’
    • ‘Cows wander the streets, ragged children pester dogs with sticks, tailors teeter past on bicycles balancing bolts of fabric.’
    roll, reel, spool, bundle, bale, parcel, packet, quantity, amount
    View synonyms
  • 2A folded edge of a piece of paper that is trimmed off to allow it to be opened, as on a section of a book.

Origin

Middle English: transferred use of bolt.

Pronunciation:

bolt

/bəʊlt/

Main definitions of bolt in English

: bolt1bolt2bolt3bolt4

bolt4

(also boult)

verb

[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Pass (flour, powder, or other material) through a sieve:

    figurative ‘the fanned snow that's bolted by the northern blasts’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French bulter, of unknown ultimate origin. The change in the first syllable was due to association with bolt.

Pronunciation:

bolt

/bəʊlt/