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a movable bar or rod that when slid into a socket fastens a door, gate, etc.
the part of a lock that is shot from and drawn back into the case, as by the action of the key.
any of several types of strong fastening rods, pins, or screws, usually threaded to receive a nut.
a sudden dash, run, flight, or escape.
a sudden desertion from a meeting, political party, social movement, etc.
a length of woven goods, especially as it comes on a roll from the loom.
a roll of wallpaper.
Bookbinding. the three edges of a folded sheet that must be cut so that the leaves can be opened.
a rod, bar, or plate that closes the breech of a breechloading rifle, especially a sliding rod or bar that shoves a cartridge into the firing chamber as it closes the breech.
a jet of water, molten glass, etc.
an arrow, especially a short, heavy one for a crossbow.
a shaft of lightning; thunderbolt.
a length of timber to be cut into smaller pieces.
a slice from a log, as a short, round piece of wood used for a chopping block.
to fasten with or as with a bolt.
to discontinue support of or participation in; break with:
to bolt a political party.
to shoot or discharge (a missile), as from a crossbow or catapult.
to utter hastily; say impulsively; blurt out.
to swallow (one’s food or drink) hurriedly:
She bolted her breakfast and ran to school.
to make (cloth, wallpaper, etc.) into bolts.
Fox Hunting. (of hounds) to force (a fox) into the open.
to make a sudden, swift dash, run, flight, or escape; spring away suddenly:
The rabbit bolted into its burrow.
to break away, as from one’s political party.
to eat hurriedly or without chewing.
Horticulture. to produce flowers or seeds prematurely.
Archaic. with sudden meeting or collision; suddenly.
bolt from the blue, a sudden and entirely unforeseen event:
His decision to leave college was a bolt from the blue for his parents.
Also, bolt out of the blue.
bolt upright, stiffly upright; rigidly straight:
The explosive sound caused him to sit bolt upright in his chair.
shoot one’s bolt, Informal. to make an exhaustive effort or expenditure:
The lawyer shot his bolt the first day of the trial and had little to say thereafter.
to sift through a cloth or sieve.
to examine or search into, as if by sifting.
Contemporary Examples

Tesla’s Radical Patent Move is a Plot to Take Over the Road Daniel Gross June 14, 2014
Ann Patchett: How I Write Noah Charney October 29, 2013
No More Election Day Lines? Ben Jacobs January 21, 2014
The High Society Bank Robber of the 1800s J. North Conway October 18, 2014
Kristen Stewart, Sundance “It” Girl Nicole LaPorte January 24, 2010

Historical Examples

A Life For a Love L. T. Meade
The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
A World is Born Leigh Douglass Brackett
Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
Janet Hardy in Radio City Ruthe S. Wheeler

a bar that can be slid into a socket to lock a door, gate, etc
a bar or rod that forms part of a locking mechanism and is moved by a key or a knob
a metal rod or pin that has a head at one end and a screw thread at the other to take a nut
a sliding bar in a breech-loading firearm that ejects the empty cartridge, replaces it with a new one, and closes the breech
a flash of lightning
a sudden start or movement, esp in order to escape: they made a bolt for the door
(US) a sudden desertion, esp from a political party
a roll of something, such as cloth, wallpaper, etc
an arrow, esp for a crossbow
(printing) a folded edge on a sheet of paper that is removed when cutting to size
(mechanical engineering) short for expansion bolt
a bolt from the blue, a sudden, unexpected, and usually unwelcome event
shoot one’s bolt, to exhaust one’s effort: the runner had shot his bolt
(transitive) to secure or lock with or as with a bolt or bolts: bolt your doors
(transitive) to eat hurriedly: don’t bolt your food
(intransitive; usually foll by from or out) to move or jump suddenly: he bolted from the chair
(intransitive) (esp of a horse) to start hurriedly and run away without warning
(transitive) to roll or make (cloth, wallpaper, etc) into bolts
(US) to desert (a political party, etc)
(intransitive) (of cultivated plants) to produce flowers and seeds prematurely
(transitive) to cause (a wild animal) to leave its lair; start: terriers were used for bolting rats
stiffly, firmly, or rigidly (archaic except in the phrase bolt upright)
verb (transitive)
to pass (flour, a powder, etc) through a sieve
to examine and separate
Robert (Oxton). 1924–95, British playwright. His plays include A Man for All Seasons (1960) and he also wrote a number of screenplays
Usain (juːˈseɪn). born 1986, Jamaican athlete: winner of the 100 metres and the 200 metres in the 2008 Olympic Games, setting world records at both distances

bolt from the blue, a
bolt upright


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