• synonyms


See more synonyms for hilt on Thesaurus.com
  1. the handle of a sword or dagger.
  2. the handle of any weapon or tool.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with a hilt.
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  1. to the hilt, to the maximum extent or degree; completely; fully: to play the role to the hilt.Also up to the hilt.
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Origin of hilt

before 900; Middle English, Old English hilt(e); cognate with Middle Dutch hilt(e), Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza handle of a sword
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hilt

tail, knob, shaft, stem, handle, shank, bottom, extremity, tip, stub, edge, base, fundament, foot, stump, stock, haft, hilt, holder, ear

Examples from the Web for hilt

Contemporary Examples of hilt

Historical Examples of hilt

  • I've read of precious stones in the hilt of a pirate's sword!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Siegmund saw it, and, springing forward, he grasped its hilt.

  • He would not have it in the scabbard, and when I laid it naked in his hand he kissed the hilt.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • The mingled feeling with which she spoke of him proved it to the hilt.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • If I could have mistaken the hilt, I could not mistake the split sheath.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for hilt


  1. the handle or shaft of a sword, dagger, etc
  2. to the hilt to the full
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  1. (tr) to supply with a hilt
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Word Origin for hilt

Old English; related to Old Norse hjalt, Old Saxon helta oar handle, Old High German helza
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 hilt


Old English hilt "hilt, handle of a sword or dagger," from Proto-Germanic *helt (cf. Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza "hilt," Old Saxon helta "oar handle"), perhaps from PIE *kel- "to strike." Formerly also used in plural in same sense as singular.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hilt


see to the hilt.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.