good condition; order: The engine was out of kilter.
Poker. skeet2.

Origin of kilter

First recorded in 1630–40; variant of dial. kelter < ? Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kilter

Contemporary Examples of kilter

Historical Examples of kilter

British Dictionary definitions for kilter




working order or alignment (esp in the phrases off kilter, out of kilter)

Word Origin for kilter

C17: 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

Word Origin and History for kilter

in out of kilter (1620s) variant of English dialectal kelter (c.1600) "good condition, order," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kilter


see out of kilter.

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