Phrasal verbs "bolster up" vs "pump up"

Differences between bolster up and pump up

Bolster up and pump up are both phrasal verbs that mean to make something stronger or more energetic. However, bolster up is often used in the context of emotional support or encouragement, while pump up is usually used in the context of physical activity or motivation.

Meanings and Definitions: bolster up vs pump up

Learn how to use these expressions through these examples

Bolster up

  • 1Give support, reinforce, strengthen.

    We were all scared but she BOLSTERED UP our courage.

Pump up

  • 1To inflate or fill with air.

    My bicycle tyres need pumping up.

  • 2To make someone feel excited or enthusiastic.

    The coach’s job is to get everyone pumped up for the game.

Usage Examples: bolster up, pump up in Sentences

Learn how to use these expressions through these examples

bolster up


She always knows how to bolster up my confidence when I'm feeling down.


He bolsters up his team's morale before every game.

pump up


I need to pump up the air mattress before our guests arrive.


He pumps up his bicycle tires every week.

Similar Expressions(Synonyms) of Bolster up

To give someone support, confidence, or hope.


She always tries to encourage her students to do their best and never give up.

lift someone's spirits

To make someone feel happier or more positive.


Her kind words and warm smile lifted his spirits and helped him get through a tough day.

give a boost

To provide someone with extra energy, confidence, or motivation.


A cup of coffee in the morning always gives me a boost and helps me start my day off right.

Similar Expressions(Synonyms) of Pump up

To become excited, enthusiastic, or motivated about something.


The coach's pre-game speech really got us fired up and ready to win.

rev up

To increase the speed, intensity, or excitement of something.


The DJ revved up the crowd with some high-energy music and got everyone dancing.

hype up

To promote or advertise something in an exaggerated or sensational way.


The company hyped up their new product with flashy ads and promises of revolutionary features.

Explore more Phrasal Verbs

Here are some phrasal verbs with the same verbs or particles

Phrasal Verbs with “up”

Differences in bolster up vs pump up: Usage, Formality, and Tone

Frequency in Daily Use: bolster up or pump up?

In everyday conversation, pump up is more common than bolster up. This is because pump up is used in a wider range of contexts, such as sports, exercise, and music. Bolster up is less common and is mainly used in situations where someone needs emotional support or encouragement.

Informal vs Formal: Contextual Use of bolster up and pump up

Both bolster up and pump up are informal phrases that are suitable for casual conversations with friends and family. However, in more formal settings like business or academic contexts, using alternative expressions can convey a more polished tone.

Tone and Implication: The Nuances of bolster up and pump up

The tone of bolster up and pump up can differ based on context. Bolster up often carries a supportive or empathetic tone when related to emotional support, while pump up typically has an energetic and enthusiastic tone, especially when referring to physical activity or motivation.

bolster up & pump up: Synonyms and Antonyms

Pump up


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