Is “Bolded” A Word? Full Explanation (With Examples)

At some point or another, whether in writing or speech, we may have come across the term “bolded”. Now, this term may not seem like it, but it has been known to cause some confusion. This is because many are uncertain – is this a correct and proper term, or not?

Is “Bolded” A Word?

“Bolded” is considered a word in the English language. Although, we do have to be somewhat careful with how we use this particular term, as its appropriate usability is minuscule. We would instead use the terms “bolden” or “embolden”, as they carry a similar, yet more appropriate meaning.

is bolded a word

As one can easily see when searching for a definition of the term “bolded”, most websites or dictionaries do not include this term – which is why alternative terms are generally chosen instead.

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Watch the video: Only 1 percent of our visitors get these 3 grammar questions right...

Is “Bolded” The Past Tense Of “Bold”?

“Bolded” is considered to be both the past tense and past participle of the term “bold”. Because of this, we can only use this term when it is applicable and we are attempting to discuss a situation or moment that has already occurred.

We can see that Your Dictionary does not define the term “bolded”, merely listing it as the past participle of “bold”.

In terms of the appropriate definition of bold, Cambridge Dictionary defines the term as printed in thick, dark letters. Therefore, the term “bolded”, refers to a section of typed words that we have previously changed to be in the bold format.

Is It Correct To Say “Bolded Text”?

We can use the phrase “bolded text”, as this is a proper way of using the term “bolded”. In this case, we would be discussing a portion of the text that was written in bold or that we changed previously to be in bold format.

Using the term “bolded” in this format (alongside the term “text”), is one of the only applicable ways to utilize this term. This makes it a very correct option for anyone to use, in terms of the English language.

Should I Use “Emboldened” Instead Of “Bolded”?

We would often consider the use of the term “emboldened” to be more formal and appropriate than that of the term “bolded”. For something to be “emboldened”, it means to cause a portion of text to appear in a bold typeface.

Although saying that something has been “bolded” is correct, we should choose to say something has been “emboldened” because it sounds more proper to the English speaker. This is not to say that you would be misunderstood if you say “bolded”, however, it may be seen as incorrect.

We can see this is very much true when we look at this graph provided by Google Ngram Viewer. As the data dictates since the 1800s “emboldened” has been the more commonly used term, over “bolded”.

emboldened vs bolded

The use of the term “bolded” is by no means popular and has only been around for the past few decades. This will have much to do with the use of technology – computers, and typing in particular.

Examples Of How To Use “Bolded” In A Sentence

We will now look over some examples that highlight the use of the term “bolded”. If the use of the term is incorrect, the correct use will be shown below it.

  • Correct: The bolded items in our report were supported by the team of developers.
  • Correct: I went through and read over the bolded text throughout the essay and it all seemed to be accurately sourced and referenced.
  • Incorrect: I bolded that portion of the text for you just now – I hope that’s okay.
  • Correct: I emboldened that portion of the text for you just now – I hope that’s okay.
  • Incorrect: I would like to see the title centered, bolded, and underlined.
  • Correct: I would like to see the title centered, emboldened, and underlined.
  • Incorrect: It’s important that you remember your resource links must be bolded.
  • Correct: It’s important that you remember your resource links must be emboldened.
  • Correct: I was able to accurately find the key points of the argument, as they were all typed in bolded text.
  • Incorrect: You should have bolded the title portion of your essay, making it more readable to a viewer.
  • Correct: You should have emboldened the title portion of your essay, making it more readable to a viewer.