noun Archaeology.

an ax of stone or metal without perforations or grooves, for hafting.

Origin of celt

1705–15; < Late Latin *celtis chisel, found only in the ablative case celte (Vulgate, Job XIX, 24)


[kelt, selt]


a member of an Indo-European people now represented chiefly by the Irish, Gaels, Welsh, and Bretons.
Also Kelt.

Origin of Celt

1695–1705; < Latin Celtae (plural); in Greek Keltoí (plural)


or Celt


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for celt

Historical Examples of celt

British Dictionary definitions for celt



archaeol a stone or metal axelike instrument with a bevelled edge

Word Origin for celt

C18: from Late Latin celtes chisel, of obscure origin




a person who speaks a Celtic language
a member of an Indo-European people who in pre-Roman times inhabited Britain, Gaul, Spain, and other parts of W and central Europe
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 celt

"stone chisel," 1715, from a Latin ghost word (apparently a misprint of certe) in Job xix:24 in Vulgate: "stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur in silice;" translated, probably correctly, in KJV as, "That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever." But assumed by others to be a genuine carving tool, partly because it was in the Bible, and thereafter adapted by archaeologists as a name for a class of prehistoric implements.



also Kelt, c.1600, from Latin Celta, singular of Celtae, from Greek Keltoi, Herodotus' word for the Gauls (who also were called Galatai). Used by the Romans of continental Gauls but apparently not of the British Celtic tribes. Originally in English in reference to ancient peoples; extention to their modern descendants is from mid-19c., from French usage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper