\ 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 The wider east end features cottages shaded by tall pine trees, while the west end’s beach houses stand on stilts and face the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Mississippi Sound on the other. Michelle Matthews |, al, "The Mobile Bay Ferry gives you the best of both worlds at the beach," 2 June 2020 The Military, Civic and Fireman’s Parade is more Mayberry than Magic Kingdom, with war veterans, unicyclists, stilt walkers, marching bands, antique cars and floats designed by local businesses, churches and Roger Williams University. Washington Post, "Get crowds off your calendar in 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 One defiant pink house remains, rising two stories on stilts. Jim Morrison, Washington Post, "Climate Change Turns the Tide on Waterfront Living," 13 Apr. 2020 The huts were raised on stilts for protection from poisonous reptiles and from flooding during monsoon storms; pigs and chickens lived in the shade below. Scientific American, "How Disaster Aid Ravaged an Island People," 25 Mar. 2020 Now, the macaques dress in diapers, walk on stilts play air hockey with passers-by. National Geographic, "Why do we cover the world's wildlife?," 27 Feb. 2020 Our temporary home loomed 40 feet overhead, a modest 1950s-era cabin on stocky wooden stilts. oregonlive, "Peak Northwest: We skied to one of Oregon’s fire lookouts. It was the coziest camp night we’ve had. (video)," 27 Feb. 2020 The stilt structures in the fishing community posed a security risk and undermined the megacity status of the city, Lagos state authorities said in a letter served to the community, local chief Victor Panke told CNN. Oluwatosin Adeshokan, CNN, "How Makoko, Nigeria's floating slum went digital," 26 Feb. 2020 Some 3,300 solar panels will rest on 6-foot and 8-foot-high stilts, providing shade for crops like tomatoes, peppers, kale, and beans on a five-acre plot. Maria Gallucci, Wired, "Family Farms Try to Raise a New Cash Cow: Solar Power," 22 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Your ability to move into different situations can be stilted at times., "Horoscope," 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, "White House frustration over moon mission delays preceded removal of top NASA official," 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, "Review: Despite fine dancing, ‘Heaven’ is a bleak Bosnian odyssey," 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, "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,, "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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Stilt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for stilt


How to pronounce stilt (audio)

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

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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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