- 1.1A bar that slides into a socket to fasten a door or window.More example sentences
- He reached through the hole in the door and slid the bolt on the inside.
- To reduce the risk of wandering, put a slide bolt high on every door that leads to the outside or to a stairwell, or use a deadbolt that requires a key.
- We quickly unload cases, leave them with our bags and personal belongings in the store room and lock the door with the sliding bolt and padlock.
- 1.2A threaded pin that screws into a nut and is used to fasten things together.More example sentences
- Use only non-corrosive nails, bolts and screws to prevent staining.
- Screws, nails and bolts can all be used in the assembly of the components.
- Six million bolts hold the bridge together and not a single one has loosened since the bridge was opened in 1932.
- 1.3The sliding piece of the breech mechanism of a rifle.More example sentences
- They replaced the missing bolt in the one rifle and supplied new magazines for the two Camp Reed guns.
- He pulled back the bolt of the rifle with a sharp snap to ready it.
- However, with conventional guns, the standing breech acts as a bolt sealing off the rear of the chamber.
- 1.4(In rock climbing) a long pin that is driven into a rock face so that a rope can be attached to it.More example sentences
- Determined not to let it ruin my trip, I ended up getting really good at using my left hand for climbing, and hammering in bolts and pitons.
- She climbed with effortless grace and clipped the rope to the top bolt.
- After tightening the bolt and clipping the rope in, I had nothing left to do than test my theory.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1.1Fasten (a door or window) with a bar that slides into a socket: all the doors were locked and boltedMore example sentences
- That night, she made sure to double check the locks on all the windows and bolt the door.
- Anybody who reads the newspapers regularly could be forgiven for locking and bolting the front door and resolving never to set foot outside again.
- Kelley slipped off her heels with relief, locking and bolting the apartment door.
- 1.2Fasten (an object) to something else with a bolt: the lid was put into position and bolted down a camera was bolted to the aircraftMore example sentences
- The frame is securely bolted to the workshop floor.
- Each center piece was individually bolted to its matching end trusses, and then they too were joined by joists and covered with metal decking.
- The scissors component was added, the platform was bolted on.
a bolt from (or out of) the blue
- A sudden and unexpected event or piece of news: the job came like a bolt from the blueMore example sentences
- To much of the global community, the events of November 1938 came like a bolt out of the blue.
- This accusation about Nicky has come like a bolt out of the blue.
- It would be an understatement to say that it was a bolt out of the blue.
- Upright, with the back rigid and straight: she sat bolt upright in bed
have shot one's bolt
- • informal Have done all that one is able.More example sentences
- You can put it down to lack of expertise in playing over five days, a woeful shortage of staying power or, quite simply, they had shot their bolt.
- We have shot our bolt and couldn't now take similar action elsewhere, even if this were desirable.
- I had waited all these years for him to slip up and now he has shot his bolt.
Old English, 'arrow', of unknown origin; related to Dutch bout and German Bolzen 'arrow, bolt for a door'.
- 1 [no object] (Of a horse or other animal) run away suddenly out of control: the horses shied and boltedMore example sentences
- Wearing traditional garb and astride a horse, her cover was blown when the beast bolted and threw her off, exposing her camera.
- Wild animals shook at the sound of the hounds; deer bolted for the hills.
- Suddenly a huge bang is heard and both horses bolt for it.
- 1.1(Of a person) move or run away suddenly: they bolted down the stairsMore example sentences
- Buddy bolted, bounding down the driveway and across the street, heading right for me.
- The tavern-master yelled at the figure bolting up the stairs.
- He then felt a strong impulse coming from his stomach and he then bolted for the nearest bathroom, however he couldn't remember where one was.
- 1.2 [with object] (In hunting) cause (a rabbit or fox) to run out of its burrow or hole.More example sentences
- The terrier will either bolt the fox or drive it back to a stationary position.
- We wait until the dog marks an occupied burrow then enter a ferret to hopefully bolt the rabbit.
- Occasionally, our ferrets are taken along to bolt rabbits from their warrens so the birds can pursue them.
- 1.3(Of a plant) grow tall quickly and stop flowering as seeds develop: the lettuces have boltedMore example sentences
- By now most of your herbs have bolted to seed and should be re-planted.
- The only caveat is they have a tendency to bolt to flower and seed as days become longer in spring.
- Plants bolt quickly, too, so sow seeds in small batches every few weeks.
- 2 [with object] (often bolt something down) Eat or swallow (food) quickly: it is normal for puppies to bolt down their foodMore example sentences
gobble up, gulp down, wolf down, guzzle (down), devour• informal demolish, polish off, shovel in/down, scarf up
- If we bolted our food and ran down the street, we might just catch him before he went off duty, and claim a penny on the empty bottle.
- Arun seized the bowl and bolted the cold food himself, spurred both by hope and the fledgling's panting breaths.
- People under stress may also bolt their food, creating extra work for their digestive juices.
make a bolt for
- Try to escape by moving suddenly toward (something): Ellie made a bolt for the doorMore example sentences
- They were gathered down one end of the pool so I decided to make a bolt for the far side.
- The alarm went off and they made a bolt for it.
- She thought about making a bolt for it, but the guy put his hand on her shoulder and whispered ‘Don't even think about it.’
shut the stable door after the horse has bolted
- Try to avert something bad or unwelcome when it is already too late to do so.More example sentences
- It strikes me, how ever, that the government is trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.
- It seems to me that he is trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.
- This is a heavy-handed attempt to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Middle English: from bolt1, expressing the sense 'fly like an arrow'.
- A roll of fabric, originally as a measure: the room is stacked with bolts of clothMore example sentences
roll, reel, spool; quantity, amount
- You can buy it from fabric stores that stock bolts of fabric, or you can order it from fabric books.
- The traveling merchants usually stocked bolts of cloth and sewing notions such as needle and thread and had stands on which to measure the cloth.
- Your closest quilt shop is getting new bolts of fabric in now.
Middle English: transferred use of bolt1.
verb[with object] • archaic
Middle English: from Old French bulter, of unknown ultimate origin. The change in the first syllable was due to association with bolt1.