Intermediate+ Word of the Day: boost

boost (verb, noun) /bust/ LISTEN

A cup of coffee can help boost your energy levels.

To boost means ‘to lift something or someone by pushing from below’ and ‘to increase.’ It also means ‘to speak well of someone or something in order to help.’ As a US slang term, to boost means ‘to shoplift.’ As a noun, a boost is an upward raise, an increase, and a remark that helps someone.

Example sentences

  • We managed to lock ourselves out, so my husband boosted me up so I could climb through the open window.
  • News of the proposed merger has boosted the price of shares in the company.
  • Gary was boosted by his boss's kind words.
  • The thieves boosted several necklaces from the jewelry store.
  • Charlene gave her little brother a boost to help him climb the tree.
  • When the author did a book signing at the local book store, it gave sales of his new book a boost.
  • My teacher's praise gave me a boost.

In pop culture

Boost sneakers (US) or boost trainers or running shoes (UK) are a type of sneaker produced by the sportswear firm Adidas. They have a cushioned sole that springs back into shape quickly, which is supposed to help reduce stress on runners’ muscles and give them more energy, so they can run faster and longer. Here is a video clip explaining the different types of boost sneakers available:

We think this guy must have lots of extra energy from wearing his boost sneakers, as he talks pretty fast. See if you can keep up!

Did you know?

In guitar playing, a boost pedal is something you can use to make the sound of an electric guitar bigger and louder by pressing a foot switch. This clip explains how to use one:

The guy in this video is Australian. Can you hear the accent?

Other forms

booster (noun)


Boost is a relatively new word in the English language. It dates back to the early 19th century, and was first used in the United States as a verb, probably between 1805 and 1815. It is probably a variation of the Scots dialect word boose (itself a variant of pouss, meaning ‘push’), using the ending of the word hoist (push or pull upwards). The noun appeared in the 1820s.

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