rhythmic swing or cadence.
a lilting song or tune.

verb (used with or without object)

to sing or play in a light, tripping, or rhythmic manner.

Nearby words

  1. lillo,
  2. lillo, george,
  3. lilly-pilly,
  4. lilo,
  5. lilongwe,
  6. lilting,
  7. lily,
  8. lily family,
  9. lily iron,
  10. lily of the valley

Origin of lilt

1300–50; Middle English lulte; perhaps akin to Dutch lul pipe, lullen to lull

Related formslilt·ing·ly, adverblilt·ing·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lilt

British Dictionary definitions for lilt



(in music) a jaunty rhythm
a buoyant motion

verb (intr)

(of a melody) to have a lilt
to move in a buoyant manner
Derived Formslilting, adjective

Word Origin for lilt

C14 lulten, origin obscure

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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper