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[kilt] /kɪlt/
any short, pleated skirt, especially a tartan wraparound, as that worn by men in the Scottish Highlands.
verb (used with object)
to draw or tuck up, as the skirt, about oneself.
to provide (a skirt) with kilt pleats.
Origin of kilt
1300-50; Middle English kylte, perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Danish kilte to tuck up
Related forms
kiltlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for kilt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You have the kilt at every turn, in every tartan, and often in no tartan at all.

  • He's up to his neck in Irish things, and speaks Gaelic and wears an Irish kilt.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • An' poor Tim was kilt the way he wouldn't tell o' the boys that did it.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • Oh, Biddy, Biddy, your darlint is going to be kilt entoirely!

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • We have a way of belting on the kilt in real Argile I have seen nowhere else.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • But the thought of gettin' kilt before ever I'd made you Mrs. Murphy was too much for me.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • (He had never anticipated any satisfaction in wearing a kilt).

    Major Vigoureux A. T. Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for kilt


a knee-length pleated skirt-like garment, esp one in tartan, as worn by men in Highland dress
verb (transitive)
to tuck (a skirt) up around one's body
to put pleats in (cloth, a skirt, etc)
Derived Forms
kilted, adjective
kiltlike, adjective
Word Origin
C18: of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish kilte to tuck up, Old Swedish kilta lap
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
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Word Origin and History for kilt

"plaited tartan skirt," c.1730, from Middle English verb kilten "to tuck up" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish kilte op "to tuck up;" Old Norse kilting "shirt," kjalta "fold made by gathering up to the knees").


"to tuck up," mid-14c., of Scandinavian origin; cf. Danish kilte, Swedish kilta "to tuck up;" see kilt (n.). Related: Kilted; kilting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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