sti·​let·​to | \stə-ˈle-(ˌ)tō \
plural stilettos or stilettoes

Definition of stiletto 

1 : a slender dagger with a blade thick in proportion to its breadth

2 : a pointed instrument for piercing holes for eyelets or embroidery

3 : stiletto heel also : a shoe with a stiletto heel

Examples of stiletto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Combined with minimal jewelry and a pair of sky-high patent stilettos, the look was old Hollywood glamour at its finest. Gina Mei, Cosmopolitan, "Sansa Stark Looks Almost Unrecognizable on the Venice Film Festival Red Carpet," 6 Sep. 2016 On Thursday morning, the First Lady left her tasteless Zara jacket and stilettos at home and instead sported a simple black-and-white look on her second trip to a child detention center in Tucson, Arizona. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Melania Leaves Controversial Jacket at Home on Second Trip to Detention Center," 28 June 2018 However, this time the stage got stuck, and Bey was faced with a tall ladder to climb down in her thigh-high stiletto boots. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Beyoncé Stranded on Floating Stage During Concert," 2 July 2018 Heels must be low, worn with tights Two high-profile guests caused a stir at Prince William and Duchess Kate’s 2011 nuptials: Victoria Beckham, who opted for stilettos, and Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, who arrived sans tights. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "5 strictest dress code rules for the royal wedding," 1 May 2018 Though somewhat out of date, combat stilettos illustrate the weaponization of the feminine, as opposed to the outright removal of it by ditching the shoes altogether. April Wolfe,, "The tortured history of action-film heroines and their high heels ('Jurassic World,' anyone?)," 22 June 2018 The style has become so mainstream that even Victoria’s Secret Angels like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Elsa Hosk have switched out their spindly stilettos for the chunky pairs. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Is It Time We Lose the Grandpa Sneaker for the Humble Converse?," 23 Jan. 2018 Two months prior, Trump was presented with a doll-sized 3-D printed hot pink stiletto in Warsaw. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "All eyes on Melania Trump's attire for expected Arizona visit," 28 June 2018 Charlie Day is a coarse arms dealer trying to hail a heli-cab out of L.A.; Sofia Boutella portrays a French assassin who’s a Luc Besson dream and a sleek nightmare of knife-fighting and stiletto-kicking skills. Michael Phillips,, "Jodie Foster patches the wounded in lively future-crime saga 'Hotel Artemis'," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stiletto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stiletto

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stiletto

Italian, diminutive of stilo stylus, dagger, from Latin stilus stylus — more at style

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stiletto

Statistics for stiletto

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stiletto

The first known use of stiletto was circa 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stiletto



English Language Learners Definition of stiletto

: a woman's shoe with a very high, thin heel

: the heel of a stiletto

: a knife with a thin, pointed blade


sti·​let·​to | \stə-ˈle-tō \
plural stilettos or stilettoes

Kids Definition of stiletto

: a knife with a slender pointed blade

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on stiletto

What made you want to look up stiletto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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