stilt·​ed ˈstil-təd How to pronounce stilted (audio)
: having the curve beginning at some distance above the impost
a stilted arch
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 Advertisement Bosses’ solution to this stilted behavior? Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 16 Jan. 2024 The show transcended not just a stilted Super Friends aesthetic but even the contemporary live-action efforts that inspired it. Jack Butler, National Review, 30 Dec. 2023 In 2008, after his queerness randomly became news again, R.E.M. posted a video online in which Stipe read a stilted press release. Jon Mooallem, New York Times, 3 Dec. 2023 After a stilted fifth season, which lacked the focus and majesty of its predecessors, Season 6 opens in Paris amid the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the gut-wrenching sounds of a crash. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 Harris’s stilted delivery of her speech caused the international audience to miss certain applause lines. Astead W. Herndon, New York Times, 10 Oct. 2023 Before the pandemic, China’s official news often showed him amid crowds of supporters applauding in stilted adoration. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Content in Schools Along with these other conservative counter-histories, the message of the Abeka curriculum is not fading away, but rather gaining steam, fueled by the prospect that schools might be able to use taxpayer dollars to teach its stilted version of the past. TIME, 11 Oct. 2023 This time Ernaux is the erotic master, treating the man, with stilted gallantry, to the violence of genuine passion. Tobi Haslett, Harper's Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stilted.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of stilted was in 1820

Dictionary Entries Near stilted

Cite this Entry

“Stilted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


stilt·​ed ˈstil-təd How to pronounce stilted (audio)
: not easy and natural
stilted speech

More from Merriam-Webster on stilted

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