Definition of stilt in English:



  • 1usually stiltsEither of a pair of upright poles with supports for the feet enabling the user to walk at a distance above the ground.

    • ‘Not to be left out, the parents had their chance to prove their skills in the Coconut Stilt Race, ending up with some of the parents on the ground and coconut stilts flying, much to the amusement of the crowd.’
    • ‘So he and his ensemble created a show featuring nine giraffes, each manned by two actors and a pair of stilts.’
    • ‘It was a night of art, drama, music, amazing costumes, stilts, fire, fun, and fear.’
    • ‘In that case I'll buy some stilts and attach them to my feet.’
    • ‘‘I can't remember when I got my very first pair of stilts, but I was very young, and I just went from there,’ she said.’
    • ‘The stilts made him a little over seven feet and I felt like a mouse next to him.’
    • ‘In fact, decked in expensive ‘kasavu’ saris, teamed with stilts or platform heels, the pretty young things on campuses look no different from fashion models.’
    • ‘The entertainers stood out from the crowd, especially the drag queen on top of an eight foot high pair of stilts.’
    • ‘Normal people like me don't normally walk on four-inch stilts!’
    • ‘On the lawn of the facility, children wearing stilts with butterfly masks and wings made of coloured crepe paper, pranced in the mid-afternoon sun.’
    • ‘From Australia comes the Stalker Theatre Company, where Four Riders will take to the streets on giant stilts.’
    • ‘Another Balkanski group act involves trampolining and stilts.’
    • ‘Dancers wearing huge socks and stilts will perform in a high intensity, 80s-style show at a free lunchtime concert in Civic Square on September 2.’
    • ‘Some of them, like a guy directing traffic atop stilts at one of last Monday's Mayday demos, prefer to wear a pink bunny suit.’
    • ‘One of the strangest sights I've ever seen was a fully made-up clown on six-foot stilts interrupting his street act to answer his mobile phone.’
    • ‘Ekeleke masqueraders dance gracefully on short stilts, wear George-cloth wrappers, and cover their faces with a piece of lace.’
    • ‘One is hardly able to imagine a man making such somersaults, while tied to three-metre iron stilts, but he did just that.’
    • ‘As soon as Charles took one step outside the building he felt like he was balancing sensitively on a pair of stilts and his body was a thousand pounds.’
    • ‘The natives congregated in front of the main gate, or would peer over the walls, standing on makeshift bamboo stilts.’
    • ‘She initially learned about stilts during summer camp but she did not get to perform until graduation day at Dundas Public School.’
    1. 1.1 Each of a set of posts or piles supporting a building.
      • ‘The stilts are just long enough to keep the floorboards out of the water during a high-tide.’
      • ‘The ones in the valley were built with high stilts to keep the river from washing them away.’
      • ‘In the southeast of the state is Inle Lake, where the Intha people live in stilt houses above the water and grow vegetables on floating gardens.’
      • ‘Baan Dvara Prateep is a compound of brand new wooden buildings erected on wooden stilts by the river bank.’
      • ‘Traditional buildings use stilts, heat-drawing chimneys, and spatial planning to increase ventilation and heat dissipation.’
      • ‘These roots, dropping into the surrounding mud, also become stilts that support more stilts and new trunks nestled in the tangled mass.’
      • ‘His living room in Hampstead, north London, has a ledge that is propped up by stilts, and the fan moved in unnoticed under the ledge.’
      • ‘The first, from Gillygate, would have gone over a new bridge across the Ouse, behind York Railway Station then climbed onto stilts over the railway line to The Mount.’
      • ‘The Alphonse hotel complex is a recently-built collection of ‘A’ frame chalets on short stilts.’
      • ‘It's almost as if the secondfloor living spaces - two bedrooms, a bath, and a home office - were standing on broad stilts.’
      • ‘A proposal to raise Luas onto stilts at an additional cost of €20 million is unlikely to go ahead due to planning problems.’
      • ‘Like most buildings in the region, these must be raised off the ground on low piles or stilts to ward off termites and rot.’
      • ‘Instead, my wife Nicky and I were in our room, which is slightly separate from the hotel and built on concrete stilts over looking the sea.’
      • ‘It makes her one-room bamboo hut, which stands on shaky wooden stilts in a grove of sugar palms, look almost lovely.’
      • ‘Rising directly out of the stunning blue depths of the Celebes sea on a series of graceful stilts, Kapalai resort seems to almost hover directly over the water with no land in sight either under or around it.’
      • ‘Each year, the stilts that have been pushed over too far need to be removed, straightened and welded back into position.’
      • ‘A design by an award-winning architect from the early 1950s, it was originally on concrete stilts and featured glass-brick features and portholes typical of the style.’
      • ‘The cosy hotel is built of corrugated metal on concrete stilts.’
      • ‘He hoped the pile of rust standing on four unsteady landing stilts wasn't the ship he planned to hire.’
      • ‘‘The main buildings are raised on large steel stilts, but the snow build-up and ice movement still cause considerable problems,’ he said.’
    2. 1.2 A small, flat, three-pointed support for ceramic ware in a kiln.
      • ‘It is best to glaze lightly where the stilt will touch.’
  • 2A long-billed wading bird with predominantly black and white plumage and very long slender reddish legs.

    Family Recurvirostridae: two genera, in particular Himantopus, and several species

    • ‘She has already been instrumental in reviving the population of another critically endangered native species, the black stilt or kaki.’
    • ‘Family groups of black-necked stilts chatter, the calm water reflecting their long red legs and black-and-white bodies.’
    • ‘I observed a pair of ringed plovers, a new species for me, a common redshank, two dozen black-winged stilts and a yellow wagtail.’
    • ‘You can circumnavigate the island by kayak, search for black-necked stilts, sail small boats, and snorkel the reefs off White Bay beach.’
    • ‘At the sewage pond a dozen black winged stilts were feeding as well as a pair of spur-winged plovers.’
    • ‘In the Adyar river, black winged stilts, three varieties of egrets and migrants such as golden plovers, sand pipers and little stints are to be found.’
    • ‘You're likely to see waders as well as a variety of herons, stilts, and even the endangered West Indian whistling duck.’
    • ‘Herons, Egyptian geese, stilts and sandpipers are already frequent visitors to the site.’
    • ‘Overall, however, the distinctive copulatory behavior of avocets and stilts seems relatively uniform across the family.’
    • ‘On the other side of post at the sewage pond I saw the usual black-winged stilts plus a pair of spotted redshanks and an active green sandpiper bobbing its tail as it fed along the shoreline.’
    • ‘An injured black stilt which broke its wing when it flew into a pylon is unable to mate, but is held at the sanctuary in an area next to a pair of black stilts which seemed reluctant to mate.’
    • ‘On the edge I saw a few stilts and a common sandpiper.’
    • ‘Even before construction of the barracks was completed, the basin passed inspection by a pair of stilts that nested and hatched a clutch of three eggs on one of the new gravel islands.’
    • ‘Even though I was over 250 meters from the sitting bird the other stilts were really agitated and swooped low over my head and continued to call.’
    • ‘I'd seen a few stilts upstream, but now clumps of them were swooping and diving over the water.’
    • ‘This was, hands down the best view of stilts I have ever gotten but incredibly odd at the same time since they were in such an unnatural environment.’
    • ‘There were lots of black-winged stilts, avocets, Red-wattled plover and black-headed gulls.’
    • ‘It also helps newly-hatched stilts find aquatic food, such as flies, larvae, crustaceans.’
    • ‘Common species of shorebirds, such as yellowlegs, dowitchers, black-bellied plovers and ‘peep,’ are often joined by pectoral, stilt and solitary sandpipers.’
    • ‘There were a dozen black-winged stilts, two spur-winged plovers, a common sandpiper and my new life bird, a great snipe.’


Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stelt and German Stelze. stilt (sense 2) dates from the late 18th century.