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1. A bar made of wood or metal that slides into a socket and is used to fasten doors and gates.
2. A metal bar or rod in the mechanism of a lock that is thrown or withdrawn by turning the key.
3. A fastener consisting of a threaded pin or rod with a head at one end, designed to be inserted through holes in assembled parts and secured by a mated nut that is tightened by applying torque.
a. A sliding metal bar that positions the cartridge in breechloading rifles, closes the breech, and ejects the spent cartridge.
b. A similar device in any breech mechanism.
5. A short, heavy arrow with a thick head, used especially with a crossbow.
6. A flash of lightning; a thunderbolt.
7. A sudden or unexpected event: The announcement was a veritable bolt.
8. A sudden movement toward or away.
9. A large roll of cloth of a definite length, especially as it comes from the loom.
v. bolt·ed, bolt·ing, bolts
1. To secure or lock with or as if with a bolt.
2. To arrange or roll (lengths of cloth, for example) on or in a bolt.
3. To eat (food) hurriedly and with little chewing; gulp.
4. To desert or withdraw support from (a political party).
5. To utter impulsively; blurt.
6. Archaic To shoot or discharge (a missile, such as an arrow).
1. To move or spring suddenly.
2. To start suddenly and run away: The horse bolted at the sound of the shot. The frightened child bolted from the room.
3. To break away from an affiliation, as from a political party.
4. Botany To flower or produce seeds prematurely or develop a flowering stem from a rosette.
bolt from the blue
A sudden, shocking surprise or turn of events.
In a rigidly vertical position: sat bolt upright.
[Middle English, from Old English, heavy arrow.]
tr.v. bolt·ed, bolt·ing, bolts
To pass (flour, for example) through a sieve.
[Middle English bulten, from Old French buleter, from Middle High German biuteln, from biutel, bag, purse.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The premature opening of flowers and production of seed, sometimes brought on by stress due to heat or drought.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited