: a handle especially of a sword or dagger
to the hilt
: to the very limit : completely
the farm was mortgaged to the hilt
: with nothing lacking
played the role to the hilt

Examples of hilt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some cases resonate to the hilt, like that of a middle-aged man who was blind. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 25 Feb. 2024 Other filmmakers might have seen an opportunity to exploit the film’s true crime bona fides to the hilt by making another figure in the story the protagonist. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2024 Lourd's also got her eyes on the Mark Hamill signed lightsaber hilt. Alex Ross, Peoplemag, 3 May 2024 The ring announcer played his hype-man role to the hilt. Victor Mather Todd Heisler, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for hilt 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hilt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German helza hilt

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hilt was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hilt

Cite this Entry

“Hilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hilt. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a handle especially of a sword or dagger

More from Merriam-Webster on hilt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!