- 1[transitive, intransitive] bolt (something) to fasten something such as a door or window by sliding a bolt across; to be able to be fastened in this way Don't forget to bolt the door. The gate bolts on the inside.
- 2[transitive] to fasten things together with a bolt bolt A to B The vice is bolted to the workbench. bolt A and B together The various parts of the car are then bolted together. See related entries: Manufacturing, How machines work
- 3[intransitive] if an animal, especially a horse, bolts, it suddenly runs away because it is frightened
- 4[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of a person) to run away, especially in order to escape When he saw the police arrive, he bolted down an alley.
- 5[transitive] bolt something (down) to eat something very quickly Don't bolt your food!
- 6(North American English) [transitive, intransitive] bolt (something) to stop supporting a particular group or political party Many Democrats bolted the party to vote Republican.
- 7[intransitive] (of a plant, especially a vegetable) to grow too quickly and start producing seeds and so become less good to eat Word Originverb senses 1 to 2 Old English,
BrE BrE//bəʊlt//; NAmE NAmE//boʊlt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bolt
BrE BrE//bəʊlt//; NAmE NAmE//boʊlt//he / she / it bolts
BrE BrE//bəʊlts//; NAmE NAmE//boʊlts//past simple bolted
BrE BrE//ˈbəʊltɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈboʊltɪd//past participle bolted
BrE BrE//ˈbəʊltɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈboʊltɪd//-ing form bolting
BrE BrE//ˈbəʊltɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈboʊltɪŋ//Manufacturing, How machines work
to try to prevent or avoid loss or damage when it is already too late to do so