stilt

noun
\ ˈstilt How to pronounce stilt (audio) \

Definition of stilt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of two poles each with a rest or strap for the foot used to elevate the wearer above the ground in walking
b : a pile or post serving as one of the supports of a structure above ground or water level
2 plural also stilt : any of several very long-legged 3-toed shorebirds (genera Himantopus and Cladorhynchus) that are related to the avocets, frequent inland ponds and marshes, and nest in small colonies

stilt

verb
stilted; stilting; stilts

Definition of stilt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to raise on or as if on stilts

Examples of stilt in a Sentence

Noun

a circus performer walking on stilts

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of the birds featured in the Audubon Photography Awards’ winning images are protected by the Migratory Bird Act—like the black-necked stilts that Gary R. Zahm photographed in California’s Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Peep the Stunning Winners of the Audubon Society’s Photo Contest," 6 July 2018 These stilts also allow air to move over the ground, keeping it cool. Melody Schreiber, WIRED, "The Race to Save Arctic Cities As Permafrost Melts," 14 May 2018 The view includes an iconic fish shack on stilts that appears on all the Cortez marketing materials. Bonnie Gross, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Manatee County: Tiny Cortez on Florida's Gulf Coast is big on seafood," 6 May 2018 Suspended on stilts over the transforming Coconut Grove will soon be a new hotel addition to the neighborhood — with a familiar name. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "A famous Italian family is opening its first Florida hotel in Coconut Grove — and soon," 26 June 2018 At the center of the property (and, more importantly, a stone's throw and robe-appropriate walk from the spa) a rustic cabin suite sits on stilts over a pond that's ringed by wildflowers and grape vines. Sarah Storms, ELLE Decor, "The Suite Life: Les Sources de Caudalie's L'Ile Aux Oiseux," 17 June 2016 As with most of the Wilderness Safari properties, DumaTau is cleverly hidden among the trees—a squint-and-you’d-miss-it presence—and raised slightly on stilts to take advantage of the views. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Carters arrived at the last second to the Los Angeles premiere, where star Emma Watson was seen giving autographs to little girls while performers on stilts entertained the crowd. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Were the Real Disney Princesses at the Premiere of 'Beauty and the Beast'," 6 Mar. 2017 Houses can be perched on stilts, surrounded by barriers, buttressed with stormproof windows and roofs. Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg.com, "America’s Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Retreat Isn’t Going So Well," 2 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Universities like Chicago should enroll students from a variety of backgrounds—even if the academic-bureaucratic conception of diversity now in vogue is stilted and narrow. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The War on Admissions Testing," 1 July 2018 The participants, including Trump, seemed unusually awkward, their interactions stilted, and their posing over in a matter of seconds. Jackie Calmes, latimes.com, "Trump calls for Russia's reinstatement, adding to deep tensions with allies at G-7 summit," 8 June 2018 Things have always felt stilted between Brianna and Claire, their relationship heavy with a lot of unsaid words. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Season 3 Episode 5 Reunites Claire and Jamie—For a Few Moments," 9 Oct. 2017 From steel drums to stilt walkers, Trinidad and Tobago provides lively entertainment for the whole family and brings the festive music of the Caribbean to the heart of Harford County. Aegis Staff, The Aegis, "Ladew Gardens sets its 2018 summer concerts," 29 May 2018 The language of the documents can be stilted, even bureaucratic. Ruth Franklin, New York Times, "Tracy K. Smith, America’s Poet Laureate, Is a Woman With a Mission," 10 Apr. 2018 From photo ops with the Easter Bunny to stilt walkers and juggling sessions to face painting and more, entertainment for all ages will unfold from morning to night. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Where to celebrate Easter with the family in Philadelphia this year," 22 Mar. 2018 But even that is not enough to save this awkwardly written, stilted and sometimes just plain cruel movie. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, "Woody Allen's 'Wonder Wheel' with Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake bleak despite Coney Island setting: Review," 11 Dec. 2017 Diggs and supporting actress Robinne Lee, who plays Madison's best friend, Chelsea, bring an ease to the onscreen dynamic, which is so stilted between Ilonzeh and Bishop. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "' 'Til Death Do Us Part' tries to treat domestic abuse seriously, but comes off as seriously soapy," 29 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stilt.' 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 stilt

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1649, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stilt

Noun

Middle English stilte; akin to Old High German stelza stilt

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stilt

Statistics for stilt

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stilt

The first known use of stilt was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stilt

stilt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stilt

: one of a set of upright posts that are used to hold a building up above water or the ground
: one of a pair of long poles with platforms for your feet that you can stand on to walk high above the ground

stilt

noun
\ ˈstilt How to pronounce stilt (audio) \

Kids Definition of stilt

1 : one of a pair of tall poles each with a high step or loop for the support of a foot used to lift the person wearing them above the ground in walking
2 : a stake or post used as one of the supports of a structure (as a building) above ground or water level

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stilt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stilt

Spanish Central: Translation of stilt

Nglish: Translation of stilt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stilt

Comments on stilt

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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