stilt

[stilt]
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noun
  1. one of two poles, each with a support for the foot at some distance above the bottom end, enabling the wearer to walk with his or her feet above the ground.
  2. one of several posts supporting a structure built above the surface of land or water.
  3. Ceramics. a three-armed support for an object being fired.
  4. any of several white-and-black wading birds, especially Cladorhynchus leucocephalus and Himantopus himantopus, having long, bright pink legs and a long, slender black bill.
  5. British Dialect.
    1. a plow handle.
    2. a crutch.
verb (used with object)
  1. to raise on or as if on stilts.

Origin of stilt

1275–1325; Middle English stilte; cognate with Low German stilte pole, German Stelze
Related formsstilt·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Historical Examples of stilt


British Dictionary definitions for stilt

stilt

noun
  1. either of a pair of two long poles with footrests on which a person stands and walks, as used by circus clowns
  2. a long post or column that is used with others to support a building above ground level
  3. any of several shore birds of the genera Himantopus and Cladorhynchus, similar to the avocets but having a straight bill
verb
  1. (tr) to raise or place on or as if on stilts

Word Origin for stilt

C14 (in the sense: crutch, handle of a plough): related to Low German stilte pole, Norwegian stilta
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 stilt
n.

early 14c., "a crutch," from Proto-Germanic *steltijon (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stelte "stilt," Old High German stelza "plow handle, crutch"), from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Application to "wooden poles for walking across marshy ground, etc." is from mid-15c. Meaning "one of the posts on which a building is raised from the ground" is first attested 1690s. Stilted in the figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy" is first recorded 1820.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper