[ pi-lah-teez ]
/ pɪˈlɑ tiz /

noun (used with a singular verb)

a system of physical conditioning involving low-impact exercises and stretches designed to strengthen muscles of the torso and often performed with specialized equipment.

Origin of Pilates

named after Joseph Pilates (1883–1967), German fitness instructor

Also called Pilates method.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pilates

British Dictionary definitions for pilates


/ (pɪˈlɑːtiːz) /


a system of gentle exercise performed lying down that stretches and lengthens the muscles, designed to improve posture, flexibility, etc

Word Origin for Pilates

C20: named after Joseph Pilates (1880–1967), its German inventor

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 pilates


c.1980, physical fitness regimen developed c.1920 by German-born physical fitness teacher Joseph Pilates (1883-1967).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper