from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cloth case, stuffed with something soft, such as down, feathers, or foam rubber, used to cushion the head, especially during sleep.
  • n. A decorative cushion.
  • n. The pad on which bobbin lace is made.
  • transitive v. To rest (one's head) on or as if on a pillow.
  • transitive v. To serve as a pillow for: Grass pillowed my head.
  • intransitive v. To rest on or as if on a pillow.
  • intransitive v. To assume the shape of a pillow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A soft cushion used to support the head in bed.
  • n. A pillow lava.
  • v. To rest as on a pillow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Anything used to support the head of a person when reposing; especially, a sack or case filled with feathers, down, hair, or other soft material.
  • n. A piece of metal or wood, forming a support to equalize pressure; a brass; a pillow block.
  • n. A block under the inner end of a bowsprit.
  • n. A kind of plain, coarse fustian.
  • transitive v. To rest or lay upon, or as upon, a pillow; to support.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To rest or place on or as on a pillow for support.
  • To rest the head on or as on a pillow.
  • n. A head-rest used by a person reclining; specifically, a soft elastic cushion filled with down, feathers, curled hair, or other yielding material, used to support the head during repose.
  • n. A block or support resembling such a cushion in form or use.
  • n. A kind of plain fustian.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cushion to support the head of a sleeping person
  • v. rest on or as if on a pillow


Middle English, from Old English pyle, from West Germanic *pulwī, from Latin pulvīnus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English pilwe, from Old English pylwe, pylu, pyle ("pillow"), from Proto-Germanic *pulwin (“pillow”), from Latin pulvīnus ("cushion"), of unknown origin. Cognate with Dutch peluw ("pillow, bolster"), German Pfühl ("pillow"). (Wiktionary)


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