• synonyms


or Kelt·ic

[kel-tik, sel- or kel-tik]
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  1. a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, including especially Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton, which survive now in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, Wales, and Brittany.
  1. of the Celts or their languages.

Origin of Celtic

1600–10; < Latin Celticus, equivalent to Celt(ae) the Celts (see Celt) + -icus -ic
Related formsCelt·i·cal·ly, adverbnon-Celt·ic, adjectivepre-Celt·ic, adjective


  1. Celt.
Related formsKelt·ic, noun, adjectiveKelt·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for keltic

Historical Examples

  • These hopeless, helpless, Keltic Irishmen are unfit for self-government.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • They sprang from the old Slavonic stock, and the Slavonic is very like the Keltic in nature.

  • The name is probably Keltic, and belongs to the original version of the story.

    Parzival (vol. 1 of 2)

    Wolfram von Eschenback

  • Switzerland, from having a Keltic basis, comes next in order.

    The Ethnology of Europe

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • Some portion of the present area was Keltic, and a still greater was Sarmatian.

    The Ethnology of Europe

    Robert Gordon Latham

British Dictionary definitions for keltic



  1. a branch of the Indo-European family of languages that includes Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton, still spoken in parts of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Brittany. Modern Celtic is divided into the Brythonic (southern) and Goidelic (northern) groups
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Celts or the Celtic languages
Derived FormsCeltically or Keltically, adverbCelticism (ˈkɛltɪˌsɪzəm, ˈsɛl-) or Kelticism, nounCelticist, Celtist, Kelticist or Keltist, noun


  1. a salmon that has recently spawned and is usually in poor condition

Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin


  1. a variant of Celt
Derived FormsKeltic, adjectiveKeltically, adverbKelticism, nounKelticist or Keltist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for keltic



also Keltic, 1650s, of archaeology or history, from French Celtique or Latin Celticus "pertaining to the Celts" (see Celt). In reference to languages, from 1707; of other qualities, 19c. The Boston basketball team was founded 1946. Celtic twilight is from Yeats's name for his collection of adapted Irish folk tales (1893).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper