\ 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


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 Celebrate a variety of cultures and freedom of expression; marvel at displays of colorful costumes; bring your family for face painting, stilt-walking demos, and balloon art at the KidsFest; and dance to live music., 27 Aug. 2021 At the event, ticket holders can try sample sizes of cocktails and spirits, listen to the DJ, watch stilt-walkers and fire-eaters, play carnival games, have their caricatures done and have their fortunes told by a palm reader. Susan Dunne,, 28 July 2021 His stilt-walking goal is to join the UniverSoul Circus. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 July 2021 Back in 2013, Ginsburg hired the MarchFourth Marching Band — a group out of Portland that pairs funky tunes and stilt-walkers and acrobats — to march in the town’s big Pioneer Day Parade, and each year since entered some musical act to perform. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 July 2021 The vintage-y strappy fronts are in face-powder pink soft leather, the back is jacked up on a towering stilt in red and black, and there’s a slick of metal in there, too. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 12 July 2021 At Nantucket, interesting discoveries included a black-bellied whistling-duck, a calling chuck-will’s-widow, and a black-necked stilt in Nantucket Harbor., 26 June 2021 There’s nothing new about a bunch of red-nosed clowns and illusionists and stilt-walkers (shoes by Balenciaga) parading around downtown Fort Lauderdale. Ben Crandell,, 16 Apr. 2021 Colorful masks also adorn the faces of Universal’s stilt-walking employees throwing beads for the Mardi Gras festivities. Gabrielle Russon,, 23 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Your ability to move into different situations can be stilted at times., 31 Aug. 2019 And the ouster of one of the longest-serving stalwarts in the agency shows how far the White House is willing to go toward disrupting NASA and attempting to break through the bureaucracy that many think has stilted its exploration efforts for years. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 11 July 2019 Yet the dialogue grows increasingly stilted down the stretch, and, as the photographer and his guide, Riley McNutt and Eric Webster offer a limited array of reactions and poses. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, 9 June 2019 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, 1 July 2018 The participants, including Trump, seemed unusually awkward, their interactions stilted, and their posing over in a matter of seconds. Jackie Calmes,, 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, 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, 29 May 2018 The language of the documents can be stilted, even bureaucratic. Ruth Franklin, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2018

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


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


1649, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stilt


Middle English stilte; akin to Old High German stelza stilt

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Time Traveler for stilt

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

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Last Updated

31 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stilt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for stilt



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


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stilt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stilt

Nglish: Translation of stilt for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about stilt


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