bolt
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /bɒlt/, /bəʊlt/, /bɔʊlt/
  • (America) IPA: /boʊlt/
Noun

bolt (plural bolts)

  1. A (usually) metal fastener consisting of a cylindrical body that is threaded, with a larger head on one end. It can be inserted into an unthreaded hole up to the head, with a nut then threaded on the other end; a heavy machine screw.
  2. A sliding pin or bar in a lock or latch mechanism.
    • 1908 October, Kenneth Grahame, “Mr. Badger”, in The Wind in the Willows, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, OCLC 305520 ↗, page 69 ↗:
      There was the noise of a bolt shot back, and the door opened a few inches, enough to show a long snout and a pair of sleepy blinking eyes.
  3. A bar of wood or metal dropped in horizontal hooks on a door and adjoining wall or between the two sides of a double door, to prevent the door(s) from being forced open.
  4. (military, mechanical engineering) A sliding mechanism to chamber and unchamber a cartridge in a firearm.
  5. A small personal-armour-piercing missile for short-range use, or (in common usage though deprecated by experts) a short arrow, intended to be shot from a crossbow or a catapult.
  6. A lightning spark, i.e., a lightning bolt.
  7. A sudden event, action or emotion.
    The problem's solution struck him like a bolt from the blue.
    • 1994, Stephen Fry, The Hippopotamus Chapter 2
      With a bolt of fright he remembered that there was no bathroom in the Hobhouse Room. He leapt along the corridor in a panic, stopping by the long-case clock at the end where he flattened himself against the wall.
  8. A large roll of fabric or similar material, as a bolt of cloth.
    • 1851 November 13, Herman Melville, “All Astir”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299 ↗, page 106 ↗:
      Not only were the old sails being mended, but new sails were coming on board, and bolts of canvas, and coils of rigging; in short, everything betokened that the ship's preparations were hurrying to a close.
    1. (nautical) The standard linear measurement of canvas for use at sea: 39 yards.
    • 24 March 1774 - Newspaper: Stamford Mercury - "Mr. Cole, Basket-maker...has lost near 300 boults of rods" https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000254/17740324/001/0001
  9. A sudden spring or start; a sudden leap aside.
    The horse made a bolt.
  10. A sudden flight, as to escape creditors.
    • This gentleman was so hopelessly involved that he contemplated a bolt to America — or anywhere.
  11. (US, politics) A refusal to support a nomination made by the party with which one has been connected; a breaking away from one's party.
  12. An iron to fasten the legs of a prisoner; a shackle; a fetter.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II (play), London: William Jones,
      He shall to prison, and there die in boults.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act V, Scene 1,
      Away with him to prison! Lay bolts enough upon him:
  13. A burst of speed or efficiency.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Schloß
  • Italian: otturatore
  • Russian: затво́р
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

bolt (bolts, present participle bolting; past and past participle bolted)

  1. To connect or assemble pieces using a bolt.
    Bolt the vice to the bench.
  2. To secure a door by locking or barring it.
    Bolt the door.
    • 1851 November 13, Herman Melville, “The Advocate”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299 ↗, page 122 ↗:
      If that double-bolted land, Japan, is ever to become hospitable, it is the whale-ship alone to whom the credit will be due; for already she is on the threshold.
  3. (intransitive) To flee, to depart, to accelerate suddenly.
    Seeing the snake, the horse bolted.
    The actor forgot his line and bolted from the stage.
    • This Puck seems but a dreaming dolt, […] / And oft out of a bush doth bolt.
  4. (transitive) To cause to start or spring forth; to dislodge (an animal being hunted).
    to bolt a rabbit
  5. To strike or fall suddenly like a bolt.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, [https://archive.org/stream/paradiseregaindp00milt_0#page/{}/mode/1up page 98]:
      His cloudleſs thunder bolted on thir heads.
  6. (intransitive) To escape.
  7. (intransitive, botany) Of a plant, to grow quickly; to go to seed.
    Lettuce and spinach will bolt as the weather warms up.
  8. To swallow food without chewing it.
    • 1859 November 23, Charles Darwin, “Geographical Distribution”, in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, […], London: John Murray, […], OCLC 1029641431 ↗, page 362 ↗:
      Some hawks and owls bolt their prey whole, and after an interval of from twelve to twenty hours, disgorge pellets, which, as I know from experiments made in the Zoological Gardens, include seeds capable of germination.
  9. To drink one's drink very quickly; to down a drink.
    Come on, everyone, bolt your drinks; I want to go to the next pub!
  10. (US, politics) To refuse to support a nomination made by a party or caucus with which one has been connected; to break away from a party.
  11. To utter precipitately; to blurt or throw out.
    • 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: Printed [by Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, OCLC 228715864 ↗; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837 ↗, line 760, page 26 ↗:
      I hate when vice can bolt her arguments.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adverb

bolt (not comparable)

  1. Suddenly; straight; unbendingly.
    The soldiers stood bolt upright for inspection.
    • [He] came bolt up against the heavy dragoon.
Verb

bolt (bolts, present participle bolting; past and past participle bolted)

  1. To sift, especially through a cloth.
  2. To sift the bran and germ from wheat flour.
    Graham flour is unbolted flour.
  3. To separate, assort, refine, or purify by other means.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      ill schooled in bolted language
    • Time and nature will bolt out the truth of things.
  4. (legal) To discuss or argue privately, and for practice, as cases at law.
Noun

bolt (plural bolts)

  1. A sieve, especially a long fine sieve used in milling for bolting flour and meal; a bolter.

Bolt
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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