Definition of cushion in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈko͝oSHən/


1A pillow or pad stuffed with a mass of soft material, used as a comfortable support for sitting or leaning on.
Example sentences
  • Some play stuff for the children, travel pillows, cushions and soft pillows best suited for babies are added attractions.
  • I leaned into the soft cushions of the ratty old furniture as the phone rang.
  • But over the last year or so, she has also taken to making her own soft furnishings - cushions, curtains and covers - using top-quality materials.
1.1Something providing support or protection against impact: the pad forms a cushion between carpet and floor figurative a poll showed the candidate with a 14-point cushion
More example sentences
  • This is where the cushion of payment protection was supposed to break Mr Moore's fall.
  • Companies with high net profit margins have a bigger cushion to protect themselves during the hard times.
  • What a practical economist would say is that you need a cushion to protect people.
protection, buffer, shield, defense, bulwark
1.2The elastic lining of the sides of a billiard table, from which the ball rebounds.
Example sentences
  • But the new player, having to cut the black back to a blind corner pocket with the cue-ball close to the side cushion, over-cut it and left his player a simple chance.
  • It's now time for the lag, and his ball is glued to the cushion as my ball stops embarrassingly at mid-table.
  • Each shot must always hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first and then pocket a ball or make two balls reach a cushion.
1.3The layer of air supporting a hovercraft or similar vehicle.
Example sentences
  • The vehicle hovers safely on its own cushion of air.
  • The air cushion is ‘trapped’ under the hovercraft by a skirt around the edge.


[with object]
1Soften the effect of an impact on: the bag cushions equipment from inevitable knocks
More example sentences
  • My bike landed between two rocks, which acted like shock absorbers and cushioned the impact.
  • Instead, the impact was cushioned by a sort of air bag of small plates in what is now the Caribbean Sea.
  • The museum staff had placed sandbags and foam rubber around those heavy stone sculptures to cushion the impact if they fell.
protect, shield, shelter, cocoon
1.1Mitigate the adverse effects of: he called for federal assistance to cushion the blow for farmers
More example sentences
  • He said the suspension would also give time to the 33-man committee set up by the Nigerian government on Monday to find ways of cushioning the adverse effects of the price increases on Nigerians.
  • Social policy is a tool that in principle can be used by governments to cushion the adverse effects of external liberalization.
  • While oversupply of goods produced by the stronger economy is possible, that economy's strengths generally cushion it better from adversity.



Pronunciation: /ˈko͝oSH(ə)nē/
Example sentences
  • The fiber pads are firm, and most consumers prefer the soft cushiony feel of bonded polyurethane pads that are made from recycled carpet pads and post-industrial scrap from furniture manufacturers.
  • The marble floor was replaced with the same material that was in the sparring dome, a soft, cushiony, smooth material that wouldn't hurt when you fell on it.
  • The cushiony soft pillow was a very welcome change.


Middle English: from Old French cuissin, based on a Latin word meaning 'cushion for the hip', from coxa 'hip, thigh'.

  • You can tell that the Romans knew a thing or two about reclining in comfort when you discover that they had separate words for a hip cushion (coxinum) and an elbow cushion (cubital). The former word, from Latin coxa ‘hip or thigh’, gave rise to Old French cuissin, from which we get cushion.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cush·ion

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