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

  • transitive v. To raise or lift by pushing up from behind or below. See Synonyms at lift.
  • transitive v. To increase; raise: boost prices; efforts to boost participation in the program.
  • transitive v. To assist in further development or progress: a bill intended to boost local charities.
  • transitive v. To stir up enthusiasm for; promote vigorously: boosted their school with rallies and fund drives.
  • transitive v. Electricity To increase the voltage of (a circuit).
  • transitive v. Slang To steal or rob, especially by shoplifting or pickpocketing.
  • intransitive v. Slang To engage in stealing, especially shoplifting or pickpocketing.
  • n. A push upward or ahead.
  • n. An encouraging act or comment.
  • n. An increase: a big boost in salary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A push from behind, as to one who is endeavoring to climb; help.
  • n. A positive intake manifold pressure in cars with turbochargers or superchargers.
  • v. To lift or push from behind (one who is endeavoring to climb); to push up; hence, to assist in overcoming obstacles, or in making advancement.
  • v. To steal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A push from behind, as to one who is endeavoring to climb; help.
  • transitive v. To lift or push from behind (one who is endeavoring to climb); to push up; hence, to assist in overcoming obstacles, or in making advancement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lift or raise by pushing from behind, as a person climbing a tree; push up: often used figuratively: as, to boost a person over a fence, or into power.
  • Same as buist.
  • n. An upward shove or push; the act of boosting; the result of boosting; a lift, either literally or figuratively: as, to give one a boost.
  • n. A Middle English form of boast.
  • n. Same as boist.

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

  • v. increase or raise
  • v. increase
  • v. give a boost to; be beneficial to
  • v. contribute to the progress or growth of
  • v. push or shove upward, as if from below or behind
  • n. the act of giving hope or support to someone
  • n. the act of giving a push
  • n. an increase in cost


Perhaps from dialectal boostering, bustling, active.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin unknown. The verb is first recorded 1815; the noun, 1825. (Wiktionary)


  • A title boost can be a nice carrot for senior associates who might otherwise be disappointed with their year-end pay.

    Why Goldman Is Golden

  • Governments can give a short term boost to growth by increasing borrowing but there is a longer term cost, just as we are all today paying for the mistakes by Brown and Balls after 2003. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The retail industry may have been saved in the nick of time from a disastrous Christmas, and can now be more confident Santa is coming to town and trade will be enjoying at least a short term boost over the festive season. | Top Stories

  • Despite the short term boost to its stock price as market participants anticipate a possible settlement, Cross Research's Shannon Cross, cited by the News

  • The Daily Express says that Van Persie, who started training again with Dutch amateur side AFC Amsterdam last month, has 'shocked players and officials with his fitness, which he maintained in the gym and pool, and is desperate to give his club a title boost'.

    TEAMtalk Football News

  • MUMBAI (AFP) - Indian energy giant Reliance Industries said Thursday it had begun producing gas from the deep-sea Krishna Godavari Basin off India's east coast in what it called a boost for national energy security.

    The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

  • This week's Lady Gaga promotion probably gave Amazon a short-term boost, people in the music industry said.

    For Amazon, a Gaga Do-Over

  • Economists warned that the recent pick up in hiring in Spain was largely the result of a short-term boost from the country's large tourism industry ahead of the summer months.

    Spanish Jobless Claims Fall

  • New Delhi's focus in the coming months is on vote-winning social-welfare schemes and handouts that provide a short-term boost to consumption, but at the expense of fueling inflation and straining the budget deficit, already forecast to exceed the target of 4.6% of GDP.

    India's Risks Loom Over Rewards

  • Home-buyer tax credits worth up to $8,000 in 2009 and 2010 gave a short-term boost to home sales, but demand plunged after they expired.

    U.S. Tackles Housing Slump


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A scary boast.

    October 15, 2008