• IPA: /ˈkʊʃən/


  1. A soft mass of material stuffed into a cloth bag, used for comfort or support; for sitting on, kneeling on, resting one's head on etc.
  2. Something acting as a cushion, especially to absorb a shock or impact.
    1. A pad on which gilders cut gold leaf.
    2. A mass of steam in the end of the cylinder of a steam engine to receive the impact of the piston.
    3. (sports, billiards, snooker, pool) The lip around a table in cue sports which absorbs some of the impact of the billiard balls and bounces them back.
    4. The pillow used in making bone lace.
    5. An engraver's pad.
    6. (historical) The rubber of an electrical machine.
    7. (historical) A pad supporting a woman's hair.
  3. (figuratively) a sufficient quantity of an intangible object (like points or minutes) to allow for some of those points, for example, to be lost without hurting one's chances for successfully completing an objective.
    1. (finance, countable, uncountable) Money kept in reserve.
      • 2007, Belverd Needles, ‎Marian Powers, Financial Accounting: Media Enhanced (page 826)
        Interest coverage is important because it is an indicator of how much cushion a company has in making its interest payments.
      • 2013, Stijn Claessens, ‎Kirsten Forbes, International Financial Contagion (page 85)
        If one of the banks has a significant enough cushion of capital and a strong enough balance sheet, then it would not experience a bank run, and the domino effect in panel A would not have occurred.
  4. (obsolete) A riotous dance, formerly common at weddings.
Translations Translations Translations Verb

cushion (cushions, present participle cushioning; past and past participle cushioned)

  1. To furnish with cushions.
    to cushion a sofa
  2. To seat or place on, or as on a cushion.
    • Many who are cushioned on thrones would have remained in obscurity.
  3. To absorb or deaden the impact of.
    to cushion a blow
    • 1903, Edward Porritt, "Poynings' Law ↗", The Unreformed House of Commons Vol.II p.429 (CUP):
      the development of popular interest in Parliament made it less possible for the Privy Council in Dublin to cushion a bill which the Commons had presented to the Lord Lieutenant
  4. To conceal or cover up, as under a cushion.
Translations Translations

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