any short, pleated skirt, especially a tartan wraparound, as that worn by men in the Scottish Highlands.

verb (used with object)

to draw or tuck up, as the skirt, about oneself.
to provide (a skirt) with kilt pleats.

Origin of kilt

1300–50; Middle English kylte, perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Danish kilte to tuck up
Related formskilt·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kilt

Contemporary Examples of kilt

Historical Examples of kilt

  • You have the kilt at every turn, in every tartan, and often in no tartan at all.

  • He's up to his neck in Irish things, and speaks Gaelic and wears an Irish kilt.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • An' poor Tim was kilt the way he wouldn't tell o' the boys that did it.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Oh, Biddy, Biddy, your darlint is going to be kilt entoirely!

  • We have a way of belting on the kilt in real Argile I have seen nowhere else.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

British Dictionary definitions for kilt



a knee-length pleated skirt-like garment, esp one in tartan, as worn by men in Highland dress

verb (tr)

to tuck (a skirt) up around one's body
to put pleats in (cloth, a skirt, etc)
Derived Formskilted, adjectivekiltlike, adjective

Word Origin for kilt

C18: of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish kilte to tuck up, Old Swedish kilta lap
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 kilt

"plaited tartan skirt," c.1730, from Middle English verb kilten "to tuck up" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish kilte op "to tuck up;" Old Norse kilting "shirt," kjalta "fold made by gathering up to the knees").


"to tuck up," mid-14c., of Scandinavian origin; cf. Danish kilte, Swedish kilta "to tuck up;" see kilt (n.). Related: Kilted; kilting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper