from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hole through which to bolt.
  • noun A place affording escape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hole in an animal's den, or through a wall or fence, used for escape or emergency exit; i.e. a hole the animal may bolt through.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

bolt + hole


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  • –noun

    1. a hole in the ground, protected opening in bushes, etc., into which an animal can flee when pursued or frightened.

    2. a place or avenue of escape or refuge: The remote mountain village was a safe bolt-hole for refugees during the war.

    July 8, 2009

  • “It was well that Morris’s bluff had worked, for, though he was not hiding arms in his house, he was hiding aristocrats….No one marked for death, however, could long trust his life to a Parisian bolthole.”

    -- Richard Brookhiser, “Gentleman Revolutionary”, p132 of the Free Press paperback

    September 11, 2011

  • Everyone needs a bolthole.

    May 29, 2020