cushion /ˈkʊʃən/  noun       [count]

  1. a soft object or part that is used to make something (such as a seat) more comfortable or to protect a surface from damage : a soft pillow, pad, etc.
  • a seat/sofa cushion
  • Wicker chairs with seat cushions
  • There is a cushion under the rug to protect the floor.
  • cushion of air [=a layer of air that provides support or protection to something]

2 . any one of the rubber parts that the ball bounces off along the inner edges of a billiard table

3. something (such as an extra amount of money) that you can use to reduce the bad effect of something (such as an unexpected problem or expense)

  • We didn’t have a financial cushion when my husband lost his job.

— often + against

  • We use our savings as a cushion against major expenses.

4.  a lead in a game or competition that is large enough to allow the leader to feel confident about winning — usually singular

    • The team enjoyed a 6–0 cushion in the last inning.