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

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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 Again, this is a rather stilted way of making use of self-driving cars and does not seem especially tenable. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Officials said the logistics of a virtual summit made pull-asides or individual bilateral meetings difficult to organize, and Biden has found previous virtual meetings with foreign leaders somewhat stilted. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 21 Apr. 2021 Fox News and Fox Business ran an unusually stilted segment in which an election expert, Edward Perez, debunked conspiracy theories about voter fraud that had recently been aired on the networks. New York Times, 6 Feb. 2021 Musk's mom appears on stage — little stilted, as these things go. Andy Hoglund,, 9 May 2021 Playful ribbing on a video call is usually not funny or hurtful—the flow is too stilted and the technology too prone to glitches. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 10 May 2021 Instead of appearing in their majestic chamber, participating in a freewheeling give-and-take with arguing counsel, the justices have convened by telephone for more stilted, less spontaneous arguments. Ariane De Vogue, CNN, 25 Apr. 2021 Elon Musk may have bombed in his stilted attempt at standup on last night’s Saturday Night Live, but the controversial host nailed the landing for NBC. Madeline Berg, Forbes, 9 May 2021 The writers did well to play directly to Musk’s stilted delivery, writing characters that enjoyed the same sort of conversational awkwardness. Matthew Love, Vulture, 9 May 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for stilted

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stilted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for stilted



English Language Learners Definition of stilted

: awkward especially because of being too formal


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stilted

Nglish: Translation of stilted for Spanish Speakers


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