bolster up

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bolster up

1. To provide someone with emotional support and care. A noun can be used between "bolster" and "up" or after "up." I always try to bolster up my little girl when she's feeling sad. Stephanie is mourning the loss of her father, so we're all going over to her house tonight to bolster her up.
2. To provide something with physical support or reinforcement. A noun can be used between "bolster" and "up" or after "up." We need to bolster up that painting with another nail before it falls off the wall. I used a wood block to bolster the window up—otherwise, it comes crashing down when you least expect it.
See also: up

bolster someone up

Fig. to give someone emotional support and encouragement. We bolstered her up the best we could, but she was still unhappy. I don't mind bolstering up people who are depressed.
See also: up

bolster something up

to give added support to something. The carpenter bolstered the shelf up with a nail or two. I had to bolster up the door or it would have fallen in.
See also: up
References in classic literature ?
The utter hopelessness that was reflected in his face must have been the counterpart of what I myself felt, but in that brief instant I determined to hide my own misgivings that I might bolster up the courage of the others.
His long black hair scattered over the straw bolster contrasted with the olive pallor of his face.
she said to herself, as she arranged a bolster round the neck of Tweedledee, 'to keep his head from being cut off,' as he said.
Unluckily that worthy officer having, in a literal sense, taken his fill of liquor, had been some time retired to his bolster, where he was snoring so loud that it was not easy to convey a noise in at his ears capable of drowning that which issued from his nostrils.
The bed had a spring mattress, and a special sort of bolster and silk pillowcases on the little pillows.
In the vast dimness of the curtained drawing-room, the little man, resembling a black bolster, leaned towards a couch, his hat on his knees, and gesticulated with a fat hand at the elongated, gracefully-flowing lines of the clear Parisian toilette from which the half-amused, half-bored marquise listened with gracious languor.
Hugh strode briskly on, often looking back at the servant, whose horse was close upon his heels, and glancing with a leer at his bolster case of pistols, by which he seemed to set great store.
On a black bier-like sofa in this hollow, propped up behind with one great angular black bolster like the block at a state execution in the good old times, sat his mother in a widow's dress.
Mr Twemlow returning to his sofa, lays down his aching head on its slippery little horsehair bolster, with a strong internal conviction that a painful interview is not the kind of thing to be taken after the dinner pills which are so highly salutary in connexion with the pleasures of the table.
There is no doubt that by day Mr Swiveller firmly believed this secret convenience to be a bookcase and nothing more; that he closed his eyes to the bed, resolutely denied the existence of the blankets, and spurned the bolster from his thoughts.
Often he went to sleep on it, as he was, without undressing, without sheets, wrapped in his old student's overcoat, with his head on one little pillow, under which he heaped up all the linen he had, clean and dirty, by way of a bolster.
Also, take off those pillows and bolsters, and lift up the feather bed.
Having been long possessed of this idea, and bolsters being cheap in that country, the days have long gone by since it was possible to distinguish a woman from a dromedary-'"
The first question which I am tempted to put to the proprietor of such great impropriety is, Who bolsters you?
So much for your rotten pessimism," he snarled at Michaelis, who uncrossed his thick legs, similar to bolsters, and slid his feet abruptly under his chair in sign of exasperation.