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bolt 1

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 A metal bar or rod in the mechanism of a lock that is thrown or withdrawn by turning the key.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.
bolt upright
In a rigidly vertical position: sat bolt upright.

[Middle English, from Old English, heavy arrow.]

bolt 2

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.]


The premature opening of flowers and production of seed, sometimes brought on by stress due to heat or drought.
References in classic literature ?
Then you are not in the habit of bolting your door every night before you get into bed?
Now I am in the garden at the back, beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are - a very preserve of butterflies, as I remember it, with a high fence, and a gate and padlock; where the fruit clusters on the trees, riper and richer than fruit has ever been since, in any other garden, and where my mother gathers some in a basket, while I stand by, bolting furtive gooseberries, and trying to look unmoved.
Joe, with his bite still in his cheek, "I Bolted, myself, when I was your age - frequent - and as a boy I've been among a many Bolters; but I never see your Bolting equal yet, Pip, and it's a mercy you ain't Bolted dead.
Miss Wilson's candle, though it flickered in the draught, was not extinguished this time; and she was presently left with the housekeeper, bolting and chaining the door, and listening to the crunching of feet on the gravel outside dying away through the steady pattering of the rain.
For I was minded to jump from the caleche and run, whilst they reared again and plunged madly, so that the driver had to use all his great strength to keep them from bolting.
He endured both being struck and insulted without a word, though he was in his own house; but when the will of Aegis-bearing Jove inspired him, he and Telemachus took the armour and hid it in an inner chamber, bolting the doors behind them.