noun, plural sti·let·tos, sti·let·toes.

a short dagger with a blade that is thick in proportion to its width.
a pointed instrument for making eyelet holes in needlework.

verb (used with object), sti·let·toed, sti·let·to·ing.

to stab or kill with a stiletto.

Origin of stiletto

1605–15; < Italian, equivalent to stil(o) dagger (< Latin stilus stylus) + -etto -ette
Related formssti·let·to·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stiletto

Contemporary Examples of stiletto

Historical Examples of stiletto

  • As for the other palace servants, they had been silenced with bribery or the stiletto.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • And he recognized the girl with the stiletto whom he had caught in his hotel room.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • It is only a short step with them from a sworn friendship to the stiletto.

  • Take away, I entreat you, this stiletto, which henceforth is useless to me.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • It was then that he was done for and with what is assumed to have been a stiletto.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for stiletto


noun plural -tos

a small dagger with a slender tapered blade
a sharply pointed tool used to make holes in leather, cloth, etc
Also called: spike heel, stiletto heel a very high heel on a woman's shoe, tapering to a very narrow tip

verb -toes, -toing or -toed

(tr) to stab with a stiletto

Word Origin for stiletto

C17: from Italian, from stilo a dagger, from Latin stilus a stake, pen; see stylus
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 stiletto

1610s, "short dagger with a thick blade," from Italian stiletto, diminutive of stilo "dagger," from Latin stilus "pointed writing instrument" (see style (n.)). Stiletto heel first attested 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper