- rhythmic swing or cadence.
- a lilting song or tune.
- to sing or play in a light, tripping, or rhythmic manner.
Origin of lilt
Examples from the Web for lilt
“I would expect that,” he says in a soft tenor voice, with the hint of a Southern lilt.Better Than Fiction: The Rise, Fall, And Return of Webb Hubbell
May 1, 2014
As Morris shares his side of the story, his voice whispers across the phone line, a gentle Southern lilt kissing every syllable.The Man Who Fell for 'King Con'
December 1, 2010
His voice carries some of the Bavarian lilt of Werner Herzog, and he looks slightly like Daniel Day-Lewis when he laughs.Tarantino's Glorious Nazi
August 16, 2009
“I was starting a new collection and feeling a little depressed,” the 45-year-old says with her strong Gallic lilt.Michelle's Secret Weapon
June 4, 2009
Was that indeed the end of it all, of the hope, the lilt, the glory?Gilian The Dreamer
That the fisherman's daughter with the Island lilt in her voice—well he recalled it!Major Vigoureux
A. T. Quiller-Couch
No one who can play dance music with that lilt can be as cold as a stone—.Man and Maid
Through the window came to him the lilt of the fresh young voice.The Fighting Edge
William MacLeod Raine
(Twig to the lilt, I have got it all right)Sleep, little babe, sleep on!The Book of Humorous Verse
- (in music) a jaunty rhythm
- a buoyant motion
- (of a melody) to have a lilt
- to move in a buoyant manner
Word Origin and History for lilt
1510s, "to lift up" (the voice), probably from late 14c. West Midlands dialect lulten "to sound an alarm," of unknown origin. Possible relatives include Norwegian lilla "to sing" and Low German lul "pipe." It is possible that the whole loose group is imitative. Sense of "sing in a light manner" is first recorded 1786. Related: Lilted; lilting. As a noun, 1728, "lilting song," from the verb. As "rhythmical cadence," 1840.