stilt·​ed | \ˈstil-təd \

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

In possession of a strange and stilted squad, comprised of ageing has-been's and promising but unpredictable youngsters, France impressed with their flair before respectably succumbing to Germany., "Why Didier Deschamps Is Still a Problem Regardless of Leading France to the World Cup Final," 12 July 2018 Further, the proceedings have a stilted, artificial air that's not entirely the result of the material's obvious stage origins. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Eat Me': Film Review," 5 July 2018 Broadcasts and newspaper reporting in North Korea is dry and stilted. Jim Michaels, USA TODAY, "While the world is inundated with summit news, North Koreans are told almost nothing," 8 June 2018 Andrea Kelly also sat with the parents of Joycelyn Savage, who have claimed that the singer has brainwashed their daughter and restricted their access to her, claims Savage has appeared to refute in handful of stilted media appearances. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "R. Kelly's Ex-Wife Breaks Her Silence: 'What He Did to Me Was Criminal'," 15 June 2018 Slender, silver-haired and impeccably dressed, Mr. Kushner, 63, was by turns charming, blunt and philosophical, an engaging contrast to Jared Kushner’s more stilted persona. Sharon Lafraniere And Katie Benner, New York Times, "The Kushners Saw Redemption in the White House. It Was a Mirage.," 1 Apr. 2018 Some dry, oddly stilted dialogue does not help matters, either—every fifth line feels like it was inexpertly localized into English (which may indeed be the case, as Sandberg is based in Sweden). Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Iconoclasts review: Explore, upgrade, skip the dialogue," 24 Jan. 2018 To be clear, the 22-minute episodes aren’t entirely scintillating, and feature reality-TV-standard scenes of stilted dinner-table confrontations and backstage backbiting. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Pose and the Uncapturable Brilliance of the Ballroom," 7 June 2018 The machine's joints produce friction that makes its movement somewhat stilted, so the researchers are looking at possible lubricants. Electrically stimulating the muscles also produces bubbles in the surrounding water, which degrade the tissue. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "New Hybrid Robot Uses Living Muscles to Move," 30 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near stilted



stilt bug




stilt palm

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Time Traveler for stilted

The first known use of stilted was in 1820

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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 \

Kids Definition of stilted

: not easy and natural a stilted speech

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More from Merriam-Webster on stilted

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stilted

Spanish Central: Translation of stilted

Nglish: Translation of stilted for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stilted

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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