stilt·​ed | \ ˈstil-təd How to pronounce stilted (audio) \

Definition of stilted

1a : pompous, lofty
b : formal, stiff
2 : having the curve beginning at some distance above the impost a stilted arch

Other Words from stilted

stiltedly adverb
stiltedness noun

Examples of stilted in a Sentence

the conversation was somewhat stilted as we didn't seem to share any interests a stilted letter of apology that was written and accepted with equal measures of insincerity
Recent Examples on the Web The movie’s voice-overs are eloquent and emotional but use stilted language, which didn’t fit Mary’s journey. Alyse Stanley, Washington Post, 29 June 2022 There are even stilted hotels and restaurants that tourists can visit. Janelle Davis, CNN, 9 July 2022 Instead, Hook and Lewis’ complete lack of chemistry makes their dynamic so stilted that these moments come out of nowhere to land with an awkward thud. Caroline Framke, Variety, 10 June 2022 Willis’s slightly off-kilter body language and deliberate line readings give the protagonist a stilted quality that, on repeat viewings, seems entirely apt for a man who is repressing his own purgatorial loneliness. Adam Nayman, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2022 Still, when conversations take place out loud, the dialogue can feel stilted. Pat Padua, Washington Post, 16 May 2022 Gabriel’s arrival theoretically complicates things for Emily, but aside from an awkward bedroom scene — that frankly is not more or less stilted than any other conversation among these three on this program — there’s really nothing to it. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, 24 Dec. 2021 There’s a polish to these images that may feel stilted at a time when improvisation is valued. Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2021 As Kenny, Dallas Dupree Young is an endearing addition to Cobra Kai’s younger cast, even if some of his line readings are a tad stilted. Ben Rosenstock, Vulture, 31 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of stilted

1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for stilted

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The first known use of stilted was in 1820

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Dictionary Entries Near stilted

stilt bug



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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stilted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for stilted


stilt·​ed | \ ˈstil-təd How to pronounce stilted (audio) \

Kids Definition of stilted

: not easy and natural a stilted speech

More from Merriam-Webster on stilted

Nglish: Translation of stilted for Spanish Speakers


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