Definitions

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

  • n. A horse given to bolting.
  • n. One who gives up membership in or withdraws support from a political party.
  • n. A machine used for sifting, especially for sifting flour.
  • n. One who operates a sifting machine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person or thing that bolts.
  • n. A plant that grows larger and more rapidly than usual.
  • n. A machine or mechanism that automatically sifts milled flour.
  • n. A filter mechanism.
  • n. An obscure athlete who wins an upset victory.
  • n. A horse that wins at long odds.
  • n. In team sports, a relatively little-known or inexperienced player who inspires the team to greater success.
  • n. A member of a political party who does not support the party's nominee.
  • n. A missed landing on an aircraft carrier; an aircraft that has made a missed landing.
  • n. A kind of fishing line; a boulter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who bolts; esp.: (a) A horse which starts suddenly aside. (b) A man who breaks away from his party.
  • n. One who sifts flour or meal.
  • n. An instrument or machine for separating bran from flour, or the coarser part of meal from the finer; a sieve.
  • n. A kind of fishing line. See boulter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who bolts, in any sense of the verb.
  • n. A sieve; an instrument or machine for separating bran from flour, or the coarser part of meal from the finer.
  • n. A kind of fishing-line.
  • To clot.
  • n. A machine for sawing logs into a size suitable for cutting into small strips. The pieces cut by a bolter are called bolts, and these bolts are sawed into laths, pickets, etc., in a gang-saw.
  • n. In archery, an archer who, after drawing the bow, looses too soon.

Etymologies

From bolt +‎ -er. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As the wheels touched steel he shoved the throttles forward; if his tail-hook missed the arresting wire, he needed full power for a "bolter" -- a touch-and-go that would send him off the forward deck and around for a second pass.

    Carrie

  • He is a 56-year-old bolter, what's known as a bolter, who puts actually bolts in the ceiling of the mine.

    CNN Transcript Jan 4, 2006

  • It didn't bolter, which is the thing nobody wanted.

    CNN Transcript May 1, 2003

  • Not a pleasant maneuver -- it was called a bolter, and was far more embarrassing than a wave-off.

    Nuke Zone

  • His ex-wife recalled him as a "bolter": they'd be walking down the street and suddenly he'd be gone, to return hours later with an apology.

    Elegy for the Executive Director

  • The moment the tailhook had successfully engaged the arrestor wire and it was clear the Pilot wouldn't have to pull a "bolter" off the deck and come around for another try, the aircraft's engines spooled down again.

    Countdown

  • Words_, first pointed out that 'bolter' was peculiarly a

    English Dialects From the Eighth Century to the Present Day

  • Dick had well learned his first lesson in taking bearings, and called out at the exact moment, just as Josh was in the act of throwing over the little anchor and buoy, to which the long-line, or "bolter," was to be made fast.

    Menhardoc

  • Aiden Tolman a NSW State of Origin 'bolter' LITTLE-KNOWN Melbourne prop Aiden Tolman has emerged as a NSW State of Origin bolter after dismantling the Rhinos in a man-of-the-match performance for the Storm.

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • "A 'bolter' — that's what we call an escaped prisoner, Mr. Meekin — happened to be left behind, and he found them out, and insisted on sharing the provisions — the wretch!

    For the term of his natural life

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