verb (used with object)

to beat soundly, as with a stick or whip.
to furnish or supply (a shoe or garment) with a welt or welts; sew a welt on to.

verb (used without object)

to be marked with or develop welts.

Origin of welt

1375–1425; late Middle English welte, walt shoemaker's welt, Old English wælt (thigh) sinew
Related formsun·welt·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for welts

scar, bruise, stripe, contusion, streak, wale, ridge, mouse, weal, wound, injury, wheal

Examples from the Web for welts

Contemporary Examples of welts

  • They were first beaten with a tire iron, and then the guards rubbed chili powder on their welts.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Will Her Unborn Child Save Her?

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    May 21, 2009

Historical Examples of welts

  • Of course, every man-jack of us had lumps and welts and cuts, and there were some bones broken.

    Plain Mary Smith

    Henry Wallace Phillips

  • As they laid on quickly the welts and bloody stripes appeared.

  • Of our socks it could be said that the welts were good; the toes and heels had perished of overwork.

  • But the backs of his legs were so seamed with welts that he could not walk.

    Ted Strong in Montana

    Edward C. Taylor

  • It left Blue Blazes ridged with welts, trembling, fright sickened.

    Horses Nine

    Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for welts



a raised or strengthened seam or edge, sewn in or on a knitted garment
another word for weal 1
(in shoemaking) a strip of leather, etc, put in between the outer sole and the inner sole and upper

verb (tr)

to put a welt in (a garment, etc)
to beat or flog soundly

Word Origin for welt

C15: origin unknown
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 welts



early 15c., a shoemaker's term, perhaps related to Middle English welten "to overturn, roll over" (c.1300), from Old Norse velta "to roll" (related to welter (v.)). Meaning "ridge on the skin from a wound" is first recorded 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

welts in Medicine




A ridge or bump on the skin caused by a lash or blow or sometimes by an allergic reaction.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.