WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
bolt1 /boʊlt/USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Buildingany of several types of strong screws threaded to receive a nut and used to hold things together:Tighten the bolts with a good wrench.
  2. Buildinga movable bar slid into a socket to fasten a door, etc.:The jailer threw back the bolt on the old, rusty prison door.
  3. Buildingthe part of a lock drawn back by the action of the key.
  4. a sudden dash, flight, or escape:The mouse made a quick bolt to get away.
  5. Textilesa length of fabric, woven goods, etc., esp. as it comes on a roll from the loom.
  6. Military(on a rifle) a sliding bar that pushes a cartridge into the firing chamber.
  7. a thunderbolt:Jupiter hurling his bolts to earth.

  • Building[+ object] to fasten with or as if with a bolt:He bolted the muffler back onto the car.
  • [no object] to make a sudden run or escape:He bolted from the room.
  • Governmentto discontinue support (of) or participation (in); break with: [+ object]She decided to bolt the Republican party and vote Democratic.[no object]Twenty Democrats bolted on that vote.
  • to swallow (one's food or drink) quickly: [+ object]He bolted his breakfast and ran to catch his train.[+ down + object]He bolted down his breakfast.[+ object + down]He bolted his breakfast down.
  • idiom
    1. Idioms bolt out of or from the blue, a sudden and entirely unforeseen event:The news that she would not be rehired came as a bolt from the blue.
    2. Idioms bolt upright, stiffly or rigidly straight: He sat bolt upright when the teacher caught him napping.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    bolt /bəʊlt/ n
    1. a bar that can be slid into a socket to lock a door, gate, etc
    2. a bar or rod that forms part of a locking mechanism and is moved by a key or a knob
    3. a metal rod or pin that has a head at one end and a screw thread at the other to take a nut
    4. a sliding bar in a breech-loading firearm that ejects the empty cartridge, replaces it with a new one, and closes the breech
    5. a flash of lightning
    6. a sudden start or movement, esp in order to escape
    7. a roll of something, such as cloth, wallpaper, etc
    8. an arrow, esp for a crossbow
    9. a bolt from the bluea sudden, unexpected, and usually unwelcome event
    10. shoot one's boltto exhaust one's effort
    1. (transitive) to secure or lock with or as with a bolt or bolts: bolt your doors
    2. (transitive) to eat hurriedly: don't bolt your food
    3. (intr; usually followed by from or out) to move or jump suddenly: he bolted from the chair
    4. (intransitive) (esp of a horse) to start hurriedly and run away without warning
    5. (transitive) to roll or make (cloth, wallpaper, etc) into bolts
    6. (intransitive) (of cultivated plants) to produce flowers and seeds prematurely
    1. stiffly, firmly, or rigidly (archaic except in the phrase bolt upright)
    Etymology: Old English bolt arrow; related to Old High German bolz bolt for a crossbow
    bolt, boult /bəʊlt/ vb (transitive)
    1. to pass (flour, a powder, etc) through a sieve
    2. to examine and separate
    Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French bulter, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German būtil bag

    ˈbolter, ˈboulter n

    Bolt /bəʊlt/ n
    1. Robert (Oxton). 1924–95, British playwright. His plays include A Man for All Seasons (1960) and he also wrote a number of screenplays

    'bolt' also found in these entries:

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