A cushioning or protective material is padding. When you're moving into a new apartment, you might want to wrap your dishes in padding to keep them from being damaged.

Padding has many different uses, from the padding in a padded mailing envelope to the padding in a sofa cushion that gives you a soft place to sit. There's also padding inside protective sports gear and built into yoga mats. Sometimes padding is simply used to make something seem bigger, and from this meaning comes the sense of padding meaning "unnecessary extra material," especially superfluous words in a speech or a book.

Definitions of padding
  1. noun
    artifact consisting of soft or resilient material used to fill or give shape or protect or add comfort
    synonyms: cushioning
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    a soft bag filled with air or a mass of padding such as feathers or foam rubber etc.
    padding that is worn inside a brassiere
    a flat mass of soft material used for protection, stuffing, or comfort
    padding put in mattresses and cushions and upholstered furniture
    air cushion, inflatable cushion
    a cushion usually made of rubber or plastic that can be inflated
    batten, batting
    stuffing made of rolls or sheets of cotton wool or synthetic fiber
    carpet pad, rug pad, underlay, underlayment
    a pad placed under a carpet
    cleaning pad
    a pad used as a cleaning implement
    a cushion on a throne for a prince in India
    a cushion for kneeling on (as when praying in church)
    head restraint, headrest
    a cushion attached to the top of the back of an automobile's seat to prevent whiplash
    a small pad of material that is used to protect surface from an object placed on it
    a large thick pad filled with resilient material and often incorporating coiled springs, used as a bed or part of a bed
    mattress pad
    a protective pad over a mattress to protect it
    a soft pad placed under a saddle
    a cushion to support the head of a sleeping person
    a small stiff cushion into which pins are stuck ready for use
    a large pad worn by a fencer to protect the chest
    an insulated pad for holding hot pots
    powderpuff, puff
    a soft spherical object made from fluffy fibers; for applying powder to the skin
    a pad (usually made of hair) worn as part of a woman's coiffure
    Kotex, sanitary napkin, sanitary towel
    a disposable absorbent pad (trade name Kotex); worn to absorb menstrual flow
    seat cushion
    a cushion that makes a seat more comfortable
    hot pad, table mat
    a pad for use under a hot dish to protect a table
    throw pillow
    a small cushion that is used for decorative purposes
    skin patch, transdermal patch
    a medicated adhesive pad placed on the skin for absorption of a time released dose of medication into the bloodstream
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
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