American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


BOLT,noun [Latin pello.]

1. An arrow; a dart; a pointed shaft.

2. A strong cylindrical pin, of iron or other metal, used to fasten a door, a plank, a chain, etc. In ships, bolts are used in the sides and decks, and have different names, as rag-bolts, eye-bolts, ring-bolts, chain-bolts, etc. In gunnery, there are prise-bolts, transom-bolts, traverse-bolts, and bracket-bolts.

3. A thunder-bolt; a stream of lightning, so named from its darting like a bolt

4. The quantity of twenty-eight ells of canvas.

BOLT, verb transitive To fasten or secure with a bolt or iron pin, whether a door, a plank, fetters or any thing else.

1. To fasten; to shackle; to restrain.

2. To blurt out; to utter or throw out precipitately.

I hate when vice can bolt her arguments.

In this sense it is often followed by out.

3. To sift or separate bran from flour. In America this term is applied only to the operation performed in mills.

4. Among sportsmen, to start or dislodge, used of coneys.

5. To examine by sifting; to open or separate the parts of a subject, to find the truth; generally followed by out. 'Time and nature will bolt out the truth of things.' [Inelegant.]

6. To purify; to purge. [Unusual.]

7. To discuss or argue; as at Gray's inn, where cases are privately discussed by students and barristers.

BOLT, verb intransitive To shoot forth suddenly; to spring out with speed and suddenness; to start forth like a bolt; commonly followed by out; as, to bolt out of the house, or out of a den.