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stilted

[stil-tid]
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adjective
  1. stiffly dignified or formal, as speech or literary style; pompous.
  2. Architecture. (of an arch) resting on imposts treated in part as downward continuations of the arch.
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Origin of stilted

First recorded in 1610–20; stilt + -ed3
Related formsun·stilt·ed, adjective

Synonyms

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1. wooden, mannered, stuffy, constrained.

stilt

[stilt]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. one of several posts supporting a structure built above the surface of land or water.
  3. Ceramics. a three-armed support for an object being fired.
  4. 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.
  5. British Dialect.
    1. a plow handle.
    2. a crutch.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to raise on or as if on stilts.
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Origin of stilt

1275–1325; Middle English stilte; cognate with Low German stilte pole, German Stelze
Related formsstilt·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for stilted

stilted

adjective
  1. (of speech, writing, etc) formal, pompous, or bombastic
  2. not flowing continuously or naturallystilted conversation
  3. architect (of an arch) having vertical piers between the impost and the springing
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Derived Formsstiltedly, adverbstiltedness, noun

stilt

noun
  1. either of a pair of two long poles with footrests on which a person stands and walks, as used by circus clowns
  2. a long post or column that is used with others to support a building above ground level
  3. any of several shore birds of the genera Himantopus and Cladorhynchus, similar to the avocets but having a straight bill
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verb
  1. (tr) to raise or place on or as if on stilts
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Word Origin

C14 (in the sense: crutch, handle of a plough): related to Low German stilte pole, Norwegian stilta
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 stilted

stilt

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper