Definition of pillow in English:



  • 1A rectangular cloth bag stuffed with feathers or other soft materials, used to support the head when lying or sleeping.

    • ‘At night you sleep on the softest pillow ever, and both sides of the pillowcase are cool.’
    • ‘My bed was also round, with many feather pillows and the softest mattress around, since my mother was a weaver.’
    • ‘The blankets were shredded, as were the pillows, the feather stuffing strewn everywhere.’
    • ‘In other areas, sleeping on a pillow stuffed with Mugwort leaves is claimed to provoke dreams that reveal one's future.’
    • ‘Juen heard a stifled breath and she turned around, Kumma's face had paled immensely and his fist was clenched in the soft material of the pillow.’
    • ‘These devices are supposed to be far healthier than sleeping on a soft pillow, and are still in use today.’
    • ‘Her bed was an oak four-post bed with sheets of silk and pillows of soft goose feathers.’
    • ‘The crib should be empty, with no blankets, pillows, soft materials, stuffed toys, sheepskin, or comforters.’
    • ‘Although nowadays pillows stuffed with feathers are quite common, this should be regarded as a modern innovation.’
    • ‘The maiden quickly laid her head against the pillow stuffed with goose feathers.’
    • ‘It was beautiful, but couldn't support a feather pillow.’
    • ‘Without a word, he laid down beside her, letting his head sink into the soft feather stuffed pillow and resting his hands on his stomach.’
    • ‘I felt the soft material against my back and the feathery soft pillow that supported my head.’
    • ‘Gwyneth tried to get up by leaning on her left arm for support, but she winced in pain as she did so, and fell back down onto the soft feathery pillows.’
    • ‘Wobble feathers were sold and stuffed into pillows and quilts.’
    • ‘I took a deep breath and rested my pounding head against the feather soft pillow.’
    • ‘Her head fell back against the soft pillows supporting her and she pulled the covers up to her forehead.’
    • ‘Ikeda was slouched in a stuffed chair, head tilted back and supported by a pillow as he slept peacefully.’
    • ‘Blaise asked, sitting up, but falling back in pain, his head hitting a soft feather pillow.’
    • ‘Her arms wrapped around her pillow tightly, stuffing her face in the soft cloth and heaving a sigh.’
    cushion, bolster, headrest, pad, support, rest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      short for lace pillow
    2. 1.2A piece of wood or metal used as a support; a block or bearing.


[with object]
  • 1Rest (one's head) as if on a pillow.

    ‘his head was pillowed on his arm’
    • ‘Karl was sitting with his legs stretched out and crossed, Tom had his legs stretched out and his arms pillowing his head against the wall, and Michael was sitting with his arm resting on his right knee, and his left leg stretched out.’
    • ‘Yuko shifted position so she was lying on her back, legs crossed at the ankles, arms pillowing her head.’
    • ‘Sakura's head was pillowed on her arms, folded across the table.’
    • ‘I stretched out in the den, pillowed my head on my arm and suffered through the long long night, wet, cold, aching, hungry, wretched, dreaming claustrophobic nightmares.’
    • ‘Kiki set her Geometry book and paper to the side and laid down on the wooden floor of the tree house she was occupying, pillowing her head on her folded arms.’
    • ‘He curled up on the floor, pillowing his head on his folded arms.’
    • ‘He was laying under an army blanket, on a rickety cot, right arm bandaged, and the other pillowing his head.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes and smiled, turning on her side to face him and pillowing her head with one arm.’
    • ‘The noise woke Graham up, and he sat bolt upright from where he had been pillowing his head on his arms on the side of the bed.’
    • ‘Jehaldin nodded, and pillowed his head on his arms.’
    • ‘‘Fine, fine,’ Aidis said as he turned over and pillowed his head on his arms.’
    • ‘It hummed while I made myself tea, and hummed while I watched it from the kitchen table, and hummed as I pillowed my head on my arms and fell asleep.’
    • ‘Joe's left arm was extended and his head was pillowed on it.’
    • ‘His head was pillowed on one of Teigue's arms, with Teigue's free arm draped loosely over him.’
    • ‘Chase let me hold him but he pillowed his head on his arms, rolling onto his back.’
    • ‘I laid down and he did to and I actually snuggled up to him letting my face pillow itself on his shoulder I fell asleep.’
    • ‘She stopped, her head pillowed on his shoulder and she cried.’
    • ‘Anest awoke to discover that both he and Lily had fainted from exhaustion, though somehow she lay with her head pillowed on his shoulder.’
    • ‘I don't know which one of us drifted off to sleep first, but I looked down at one point to see that she had fallen asleep, her head pillowed on my shoulder.’
    • ‘Their relationship was far from cold: she very much liked being held by him, and she awoke every morning in his arms, head pillowed on his shoulder, or his arm if her back was to him.’
    lay, cushion, cradle, rest, support, prop, prop up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary Serve as a pillow for.
      ‘her transparent cheek, all pale and warm, pillow'd his deathlike forehead’


Old English pyle, pylu, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch peluw and German Pfühl, based on Latin pulvinus ‘cushion’.