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[kwilt] /kwɪlt/
a coverlet for a bed, made of two layers of fabric with some soft substance, as wool or down, between them and stitched in patterns or tufted through all thicknesses in order to prevent the filling from shifting.
anything quilted or resembling a quilt.
a bedspread or counterpane, especially a thick one.
Obsolete. a mattress.
verb (used with object)
to stitch together (two pieces of cloth and a soft interlining), usually in an ornamental pattern.
to sew up between pieces of material.
to pad or line with material.
verb (used without object)
to make quilts or quilted work.
Origin of quilt
1250-1300; Middle English quilte < Old French cuilte < Latin culcita mattress, cushion
Related forms
quilter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quilt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Pinckney didn't punch the mattress or turn up his nose at the quilt patterns.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • "Give her another blanket or quilt, then," said her husband.

    The Carpenter's Daughter Anna Bartlett Warner
  • quilt and cushions were pushed into a corner for later airing.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • She put the orphan at the foot of the bunk, drew the quilt over it and set to work.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart
  • She opened the lid of her chest and brought out a quilt, then another, and another.

    Patchwork Anna Balmer Myers
  • I never was so tickled in my life as when he bought that quilt.

    The Blunders of a Bashful Man Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
  • You can put him on a quilt on the floor, until after luncheon, and then you must take him home.

    Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton
British Dictionary definitions for quilt


a thick warm cover for a bed, consisting of a soft filling sewn between two layers of material, usually with crisscross seams
a bedspread or counterpane
anything quilted or resembling a quilt
verb (transitive)
to stitch together (two pieces of fabric) with (a thick padding or lining) between them: to quilt cotton and wool
to create (a garment, covering, etc) in this way
to pad with material
(Austral, informal) to strike; clout
Derived Forms
quilter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French coilte mattress, from Latin culcita stuffed item of bedding
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 quilt

c.1300, "mattress with soft lining," from Anglo-French quilte, Old French cuilte, coute "quilt, mattress" (12c.), from Latin culcita "mattress, bolster," of unknown origin. Sense of "thick outer bed covering" is first recorded 1590s.


1550s, from quilt (n.). Related: Quilted; quilting. Quilting bee attested from 1824 (see bee).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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