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.