See more synonyms for pelt on
verb (used with object)
  1. to attack or assail with repeated blows or with missiles.
  2. to throw (missiles).
  3. to drive by blows or missiles: The child pelted the cows home from the fields.
  4. to assail vigorously with words, questions, etc.
  5. to beat or rush against with repeated forceful blows: The wind and rain pelted the roofs and walls of the houses for four days.
verb (used without object)
  1. to strike blows; beat with force or violence.
  2. to throw missiles.
  3. to hurry.
  4. to beat or pound unrelentingly: The wind, rain, and snow pelted against the castle walls.
  5. to cast abuse.
  1. the act of pelting.
  2. a vigorous stroke; whack.
  3. a blow with something thrown.
  4. speed.
  5. an unrelenting or repeated beating, as of rain or wind.

Origin of pelt

First recorded in 1490–1500; origin uncertain
Related formsun·pelt·ed, adjective


  1. the untanned hide or skin of an animal.
  2. Facetious. the human skin.
  1. in one's pelt, Facetious. naked.

Origin of pelt

1275–1325; Middle English; perhaps back formation from peltry; compare Old French pelete, derivative of Latin pellis skin
Related formspelt·ish, adjectivepelt·less, adjective

Synonyms for pelt

See more synonyms for on
1. See skin. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pelt

Contemporary Examples of pelt

Historical Examples of pelt

  • Run to the farm as hard as you can pelt, and bring Turkey to meet us.

  • If you capture me you will get at the most no more than five thousand pieces of copper for my pelt.

  • As well might he have sent him a hundred figs wherewith to pelt the army of Valentino!

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Did you expect to pelt the enemy with these, or did you reckon upon no enemy at all?


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Fig. 39 shows incisions to make in removing a pelt for a symmetrical rug.


    Leon Luther Pray

British Dictionary definitions for pelt


  1. (tr) to throw (missiles) at (a person)
  2. (tr) to hurl (insults) at (a person)
  3. (intr; foll by along, over, etc) to move rapidly; hurry
  4. (intr often foll by down) to rain heavily
  1. a blow
  2. speed (esp in the phrase at full pelt)
Derived Formspelter, noun

Word Origin for pelt

C15: of uncertain origin, perhaps from pellet


  1. the skin of a fur-bearing animal, such as a mink, esp when it has been removed from the carcass
  2. the hide of an animal, stripped of hair and ready for tanning

Word Origin for pelt

C15: perhaps back formation from peltry
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 pelt

"to strike" (with something), c.1500, of unknown origin; perhaps from early 13c. pelten "to strike," variant of pilten "to thrust, strike," from an unrecorded Old English *pyltan, from Medieval Latin *pultiare, from Latin pultare "to beat, knock, strike." Or from Old French peloter "to strike with a ball," from pelote "ball" (see pellet (n.)) [Klein]. Watkins says the source is Latin pellere "to push, drive, strike." Related: Pelted; pelting.


"skin of a fur-bearing animal," early 15c., of uncertain origin, perhaps a contraction of pelet (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French pelete "fine skin, membrane," diminutive of pel "skin," from Latin pellis "skin, hide" (see film (n.)). Or perhaps the source of the English word is Anglo-French pelterie, Old French peletrie "fur skins," from Old French peletier "furrier," from pel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper