Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[lilt] /lɪlt/
rhythmic swing or cadence.
a lilting song or tune.
verb (used with or without object)
to sing or play in a light, tripping, or rhythmic manner.
Origin of lilt
1300-50; Middle English lulte; perhaps akin to Dutch lul pipe, lullen to lull
Related forms
liltingly, adverb
liltingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lilt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was that indeed the end of it all, of the hope, the lilt, the glory?

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • That the fisherman's daughter with the Island lilt in her voice—well he recalled it!

    Major Vigoureux A. T. Quiller-Couch
  • No one who can play dance music with that lilt can be as cold as a stone—.

    Man and Maid Elinor Glyn
  • Through the window came to him the lilt of the fresh young voice.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • (Twig to the lilt, I have got it all right)Sleep, little babe, sleep on!

  • Perhaps it was the lilt of a Gaelic song in these pages that brought a sorrow on me.

    The Wind Bloweth

    Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
British Dictionary definitions for lilt


(in music) a jaunty rhythm
a buoyant motion
verb (intransitive)
(of a melody) to have a lilt
to move in a buoyant manner
Derived Forms
lilting, adjective
Word Origin
C14 lulten, origin obscure
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lilt

1510s, "to lift up" (the voice), probably from late 14c. West Midlands dialect lulten "to sound an alarm," of unknown origin. Possible relatives include Norwegian lilla "to sing" and Low German lul "pipe." It is possible that the whole loose group is imitative. Sense of "sing in a light manner" is first recorded 1786. Related: Lilted; lilting. As a noun, 1728, "lilting song," from the verb. As "rhythmical cadence," 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for lilt

Word Value for lilt

Scrabble Words With Friends