stilt

noun
\ˈstilt \

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

These spindly piers whose stilt-like legs hold up a net, antenna-like poles and a small roofed shelter, resemble giant alien spiders cooling off 100 or so feet out in the sea. David Farley, WSJ, "Where to Feast on Italy’s Freshest Seafood? These Historic Piers," 10 July 2018 An Indonesian man died on Friday after a coffin carrying the body of his mother fell from a stilt tower and crushed him to death, police said. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Man serving as pallbearer crushed to death by mother's falling coffin," 19 June 2018 Guests could get their makeup done at the beauty booth, and balloons floated down from the ceiling while performers walked on stilts among the crowd. Hilary Weaver, Vanities, "The Brooklyn Museum’s Night of 1,000 Bowies Was a Night to Be Yourself," 24 May 2018 The workers talked about a couple of employees who had fallen off a roof and hurt themselves, someone else’s ladder broke, someone tripped and got hurt on his stilts. Abdi Nor Iftin, BostonGlobe.com, "From war-torn Somalia to Maine: An immigrant’s story of hope," 23 May 2018 The islands’ heritage is evident throughout, from the Nicobari welcome song to the 72 villas on stilts with domed roofs modeled after huts of the region’s Jarawa tribe. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your Next Island Getaway Should Be In India," 14 May 2018 After a day spent gliding along the rice paddies and stilt houses of the Mekong River, including a visit with a local family, all 60 of us convened in the Viking Mekong’s dining room for a Cambodian family-style dinner. BostonGlobe.com, "Take me to the river: The other (less blackjack, more bicycling) side of cruising," 8 Apr. 2018 Hanoi, located at the confluence of the Red and Duong rivers, has come a long way from the stilt houses of the Stone and Bronze Age dwellers of four and five thousand years ago. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 Other kid-friendly activities and entertainment included the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, Planters Nut Mobile, the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Ride Simulator, a stilt-walker, balloon magic and free ice cream at the Chamber booth. Gina Grillo, chicagotribune.com, "Summer Fest continues to evolve while celebrating 'all that Glenview has to offer'," 3 July 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.

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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

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Statistics for stilt

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stilt

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

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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 \

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

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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