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Related to bolster up: mettles
1. To provide someone with emotional support and care. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bolster" and "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 or pronoun can be used between "bolster" and "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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.