bolster

When you cheer up a friend who's feeling down, you bolster them. To bolster is to offer support or strengthen.

A bolster is also the name of a long pillow you might use to make your back feel better. And the two uses are not dissimilar. When you bolster your friends, you support them and prop them up, just like the pillow does for your back. When you're trying to bolster your credibility, you find people and/or documents that support you or your view. Bolster efforts to learn this word!

Definitions of bolster
1

v support and strengthen

bolster morale”
Synonyms:
bolster up
Type of:
reenforce, reinforce
make stronger

v prop up with a pillow or bolster

Type of:
prop, prop up, shore, shore up
support by placing against something solid or rigid

v add padding to

Synonyms:
pad
Type of:
fill, fill up, make full
make full, also in a metaphorical sense

n a pillow that is often put across a bed underneath the regular pillows

Synonyms:
long pillow
Type of:
pillow
a cushion to support the head of a sleeping person

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.