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[welt] /wɛlt/
a ridge or wale on the surface of the body, as from a blow of a stick or whip.
a blow producing such a ridge or wale.
  1. a strip, as of leather, set in between the outsole of a shoe and the edges of its insole and upper, through which these parts are joined by stitching or stapling.
  2. a strip, usually of leather, that ornaments a shoe.
a strengthening or ornamental finish along a seam, the edge of a garment, etc.
a seam in which one edge is cut close to the stitching line and covered by the other edge, which is stitched over it.
verb (used with object)
to beat soundly, as with a stick or whip.
to furnish or supply (a shoe or garment) with a welt or welts; sew a welt on to.
verb (used without object)
to be marked with or develop welts.
Origin of welt
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English welte, walt shoemaker's welt, Old English wælt (thigh) sinew
Related forms
unwelted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for welts
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It left Blue Blazes ridged with welts, trembling, fright sickened.

    Horses Nine Sewell Ford
  • Of course, every man-jack of us had lumps and welts and cuts, and there were some bones broken.

    Plain Mary Smith Henry Wallace Phillips
  • But so long as nobody sneezed or broke out in welts, their lives were probably safe.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Of our socks it could be said that the welts were good; the toes and heels had perished of overwork.

  • These welts, when covered by the leather of the binding, showed as raised bands.

  • As they laid on quickly the welts and bloody stripes appeared.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
  • He was so poor that he used to have welts on his legs from wearin' the same buckskin pants.

    Mitch Miller Edgar Lee Masters
  • But the backs of his legs were so seamed with welts that he could not walk.

    Ted Strong in Montana Edward C. Taylor
  • Moreover, upon her body were the welts and the bruises left there when the blacks had beaten the mule with their cruel blows.

    Legends of the City of Mexico Thomas A. Janvier
British Dictionary definitions for welts


a raised or strengthened seam or edge, sewn in or on a knitted garment
another word for weal1
(in shoemaking) a strip of leather, etc, put in between the outer sole and the inner sole and upper
verb (transitive)
to put a welt in (a garment, etc)
to beat or flog soundly
Word Origin
C15: origin unknown
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 welts



early 15c., a shoemaker's term, perhaps related to Middle English welten "to overturn, roll over" (c.1300), from Old Norse velta "to roll" (related to welter (v.)). Meaning "ridge on the skin from a wound" is first recorded 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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welts in Medicine

welt (wělt)

  1. A ridge or bump on the skin caused by a lash or blow or sometimes by an allergic reaction.

  2. See wheal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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