- either of a pair of poles, each with a footrest somewhere along its length, used for walking with the feet above the ground, as by children at play, by acrobats, etc.
- any of a number of long posts or piles used to hold a building, etc. above the ground or out of the water
- pl. stilts or any of several shorebirds (family Recurvirostridae) with a long, slender bill, long legs, and three-toed feet; esp., the black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), living chiefly in marshes and ponds of temperate North America and N South America
Origin of stiltMiddle English stilte, probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch stelte, akin to German stelze: for base see still
- Either of a pair of long, slender poles each equipped with a raised footrest to enable the user to walk elevated above the ground.
- Any of various tall posts or pillars used as support, as for a dock or building: a beach house on stilts.
- Any of several shorebirds of the widely distributed genus Himantopus or the Australian genus Cladorhynchus that have long pink legs, usually black-and-white plumage, and a long slender bill.
transitive verbstilt·ed, stilt·ing, stilts
Origin of stiltMiddle English stilte ; see stel- in Indo-European roots.
top: walking stilts
center: structural stilts
bottom: black-winged stilt
- Either of two poles with footrests that allow someone to stand or walk above the ground; used mostly by entertainers.
- A tall pillar or post used to support some structure; often above water.
- Any of various wading birds of the genera Himantopus and Cladorhynchus, related to the avocet, that have extremely long legs and long thin bills.
- A crutch.
- The handle of a plough.
(third-person singular simple present stilts, present participle stilting, simple past and past participle stilted)
- to raise on stilts, or as if on stilts
Akin to Danish stylte, German Stelze.