- stiffly dignified or formal, as speech or literary style; pompous.
- Architecture. (of an arch) resting on imposts treated in part as downward continuations of the arch.
Origin of stilted
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- one of two poles, each with a support for the foot at some distance above the bottom end, enabling the wearer to walk with his or her feet above the ground.
- one of several posts supporting a structure built above the surface of land or water.
- Ceramics. a three-armed support for an object being fired.
- any of several white-and-black wading birds, especially Cladorhynchus leucocephalus and Himantopus himantopus, having long, bright pink legs and a long, slender black bill.
- British Dialect.
- a plow handle.
- a crutch.
- to raise on or as if on stilts.
Origin of stilt
Examples from the Web for stilted
It is glorious in its stilted awkwardness, and should be cherished.Rosie Returns to 'The View': A Bold, Intelligent, and Sometimes Boring Premiere
September 15, 2014
Complete with stilted dialogue and cringe-worthy background music, the whole thing would be laughable were it not so terrifying.Outlandish Work Training Videos: Alabama’s Mass Shooting Film & More
January 3, 2013
As a debate, this was a sideshow, 90 minutes of stilted silliness, an intermission interrupting the real deal.Joe Biden Beat Paul Ryan, But Veep Debate Was a Mediocre Snoozefest
October 12, 2012
The result is nothing extraordinary, but feels awkward and stilted.TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2012-13’s New Shows
Jace Lacob, Maria Elena Fernandez
June 12, 2012
But the stilted dialogue and bizarre narrative conceits pale in comparison with some of the sacrilege being committed here.Wonder Woman: A Sneak Peek at David E. Kelley's Script
February 2, 2011
No, my stilted, stiff-laigged sheep of the mountain, we ain't got no ice.'Faro Nell and Her Friends
Alfred Henry Lewis
She was evidently infected by the stilted manner of her ridiculous lover.Scaramouche
The arches are cusped like the windows, but are stilted and segmental.Portuguese Architecture
Walter Crum Watson
The letter of congratulation must be natural, not stilted, and must be sincere.How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters)
Mary Owens Crowther
He is not nearly so composed as Shadwell, and his voice has a strange and stilted sound.Molly Bawn
Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
- (of speech, writing, etc) formal, pompous, or bombastic
- not flowing continuously or naturallystilted conversation
- architect (of an arch) having vertical piers between the impost and the springing
- either of a pair of two long poles with footrests on which a person stands and walks, as used by circus clowns
- a long post or column that is used with others to support a building above ground level
- any of several shore birds of the genera Himantopus and Cladorhynchus, similar to the avocets but having a straight bill
- (tr) to raise or place on or as if on stilts
Word Origin and History for stilted
early 14c., "a crutch," from Proto-Germanic *steltijon (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stelte "stilt," Old High German stelza "plow handle, crutch"), from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Application to "wooden poles for walking across marshy ground, etc." is from mid-15c. Meaning "one of the posts on which a building is raised from the ground" is first attested 1690s. Stilted in the figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy" is first recorded 1820.