One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person or animal that bolts or runs away.
- ‘If your horse is a bolter, use a long lead shank, and if necessary, a stud chain over the nose or under the chin.’
- ‘My three year old is a bolter - he loves to bolt in public places.’
- ‘After 1884, some bolters became Democrats and helped revive Democratic strength in New England in the early 1890s.’
- 1.1Australian, NZ An outsider in a sporting event or other competition.
- ‘I say to the House that I bet that the Commerce Committee does not have a bolter's hope of getting this bill back in a month's time.’
- ‘When she introduced the previous amending bill, we said she did not have a bolter's hope of registering the 70,000 chemicals and substances that were required to be registered by the deadline.’
- ‘The Government does not have a bolter's show of ever achieving the goal of 10 percent.’
- 1.2Australian historical An escaped convict or absconder.
- ‘In Tasmania between 1810 and 1825 there were as many as 100 ‘bolters’ out in the bush at any one time.’
- ‘The most famous of the convict bolters was Jack Donahue, an Irishman who arrived in Sydney in 1825, aged eighteen.’
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