kil·​ter ˈkil-tər How to pronounce kilter (audio)
: proper or usual state or condition : order
out of kilter

Examples of kilter in a Sentence

since I dropped my food processor, it's been all out of kilter
Recent Examples on the Web The goal of terrorist violence is often to throw a more powerful state off kilter and incite bloodshed. Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Affairs, 16 Nov. 2023 Multiple fence panels are missing, and the ones that were left standing are off kilter. Dac Collins, Outdoor Life, 9 Nov. 2023 The action takes place on a luxurious cruise ship and things start going off kilter when a dead body is found floating in the rooftop pool. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Oct. 2023 Her interrogative installations use collage, painting and light to create off kilter realities laced with social commentary. Briana Miller, oregonlive, 8 Sep. 2023 Many of them became homeless after an event that kicked a fragile financial situation off kilter. Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2023 The fact Burrow was off kilter last week wasn’t entirely surprising. Mark Heim |, al, 17 Sep. 2023 The strikes continue to throw Hollywood off kilter. Matthew Gilbert,, 28 July 2023 One of the most common mistakes people make is choosing a chandelier that’s the wrong scale, throwing the whole room off kilter. Gina Mayfield, Dallas News, 15 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kilter was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near kilter

Cite this Entry

“Kilter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


kil·​ter ˈkil-tər How to pronounce kilter (audio)
: proper condition
the TV is out of kilter

More from Merriam-Webster on kilter

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