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Knee-length, skirtlike garment worn by men as part of the traditional national garb, or Highland dress, of Scotland. It is made of permanently pleated wool and wrapped around the wearer's waist so that the pleats are in the back and the flat ends overlap in front. It is usually worn with the plaid, a rectangular length of cloth draped over the left shoulder. Both kilt and plaid are woven with a tartan pattern. The ensemble, which developed in the 17th century, is worn for ordinary purposes as well as for special occasions. Highland dress is the uniform of Scottish regiments in the British army; kilts were worn into battle as recently as World War II.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on kilt, visit Britannica.com.