stilt

Definitions

  • Two girls on stilts form a letter M
    Two girls on stilts form a letter M
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n stilt long-legged three-toed black-and-white wading bird of inland ponds and marshes or brackish lagoons
    • n stilt long-legged three-toed wading bird of brackish marshes of Australia
    • n stilt a column of wood or steel or concrete that is driven into the ground to provide support for a structure
    • n stilt one of two stout poles with foot rests in the middle; used for walking high above the ground "he was so tall I thought he was on stilts"
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Additional illustrations & photos:

STILTS, BITS AND SPURS STILTS, BITS AND SPURS

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: While sailing along the Caribbean coast of South America in 1499, the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojedo saw Indian houses built on stilts over the water. The area reminded him of Venice, and he named it Little Venice, which in Spanish is Venezuela.
    • Stilt A crutch; also, the handle of a plow.
    • Stilt A pole, or piece of wood, constructed with a step or loop to raise the foot above the ground in walking. It is sometimes lashed to the leg, and sometimes prolonged upward so as to be steadied by the hand or arm. "Ambition is but avarice on stilts , and masked."
    • Stilt (Zoöl) Any species of limicoline birds belonging to Himantopus and allied genera, in which the legs are remarkably long and slender. Called also longshanks stiltbird stilt plover, and lawyer.
    • v. t Stilt To raise on stilts, or as if on stilts.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Stilts were invented by French shepherds who needed a way to get around in wet marshes.
    • n stilt A prop used in walking; a crutch.
    • n stilt One of two props or poles, each having a step or stirrup at some distance from the lower end, by means of which one may walk with the feet raised from the ground, and with a longer stride: used for crossing sandy or marshy places, streams, etc., and by children for amusement. Stilts were sometimes merely props fastened under the feet, as if very high-heeled shoes. Those used by children are slender poles about 6 feet long, with steps or stirrups 12 inches or more from one end; the longer end of the pole can be held by the hand or passed behind the arm. In a modified form the upper end of the pole is much shorter, and is fitted with a cross-handle which can be grasped by the hand, or is strapped to the leg below the knee. Stilts are used by the shepherds of the marshy Landes in southwestern France.
    • n stilt In hydraulic engineering, one of a set of piles forming the back for the sheet-piling of a starling.
    • n stilt The handle of a plow.
    • n stilt In ceramics, a support, generally of iron, used to hold a piece of pottery in the kiln, to allow the fire free access to the bottom of the piece. Also called cockspur and spur (which see).
    • n stilt [Abbr. of stilt-bird.] In ornithology, any bird of the genus Himantopus: so called from the extremely long, slender legs. The bill is likewise very slender, straight, and sharp. The body is slender, the neck long, the wings are long and pointed, and the tail is short. The stilts are wading-birds living in marshes. They are white below, with most of the upper parts glossy-black, the bill is black, and the legs are of some bright tint. They are very generally distributed over the world, nest on the ground, and lay four dark-colored, heavily spotted eggs. Their food consists of small soft animals found in the mud and water, which they explore with their probe-like bills. The common stilt of the Old World is H. candidus or melanopterus; that of the United States is H. mexicanus, a rare bird in the eastern regions of the country, but abundant in some parts of the west. It is about 15 inches long, and 30 in extent of wings; the bill 2⅔ inches; the legs, from the feathers to the toes, 7½ inches. There are only three toes, which are semipalmated. This species is locally called longshanks and lawyer. The South American stilt is H. nigricollis; the Australian, H. leucocephalus. A related bird of Australia to which the name extends is Cladorhynchus pectoralis, having the toes webbed like those of the avoset.
    • stilt To raise above the ordinary or normal position or surface, as if by the use of stilts.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Stilt stilt one of a pair of props or poles with steps or supports at a sufficient distance from the lower end to allow a man standing on the steps to walk clear of the ground and with longer strides: a widely distributed genus (Himantopus) of wading-birds belonging to the Snipe family, having long slender bills and very long wings and legs—also Stilt′-bird, -plov′er
    • v.t Stilt to raise on stilts: to elevate by unnatural means
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Quotations

  • David Wark Griffiths
    David Wark Griffiths
    “We have taken beauty and exchanged it for stilted voices.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. stilte,; akin to Dan. stylte, Sw. stylta, LG. & D. stelt, OHG. stelza, G. stelze, and perh. to E. stout,

Usage

In literature:

What the "backstay" is to the inhabitant of the district around Lydd, the stilts are to the lonely dwellers in the Landes.
"Faces and Places" by Henry William Lucy
But his artfulness is such that he gets extra-long imitation wans, like stilts, to do his coortin' on.
"Desert Conquest" by A. M. Chisholm
Slightly stilted, richly moulded, and of many orders, these arches are so lofty as to leave no room for a blind storey above.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon" by Cecil Walter Charles Hallett
Avoid all stilted phrases and studied efforts at consolation.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
She came on, moving on shoes like Japanese water shoes, completely mystifying as to how she balanced on the stilt-like soles.
"Valley of the Croen" by Lee Tarbell
Don't put me on stilts, for I could never walk in them.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Their conversation became stilted.
"Anna the Adventuress" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
It is really built on stilts on top of the water.
"The Children's Book of Celebrated Pictures" by Lorinda Munson Bryant
The stiff and stilted type of a bygone age will have melted under the warmth of deepening fellowship and become flowing and fluid.
"The Heart of Nature" by Francis Younghusband
The houses, as I have already mentioned, are raised above the ground on brick piles or wooden stilts.
"Where the Strange Trails Go Down" by E. Alexander Powell
The trees all seemed to be growing on stilts.
"Tales of the Malayan Coast" by Rounsevelle Wildman
Any talk about love always sounds very stilted or hollow.
"Robert Orange" by John Oliver Hobbes
You look as if you were on stilts.
"Little Folks (December 1884)" by Various
It was stilted and commonplace.
"The Scarlet Feather" by Houghton Townley
And suppose he does walk on rhetorical stilts, he has precedent and will show it to you.
"The Battle with the Slum" by Jacob A. Riis
FOR many reasons it is sometimes necessary or advisable to have one's camp on stilts, so to speak.
"Shelters, Shacks and Shanties" by D.C. Beard
It is impossible not to admire the poem, though it is stilted and not to the present taste.
"A Book of Sibyls" by Anne Thackeray (Mrs. Richmond Ritchie)
You can't reach down and help anybody up, mom, if you go along through this here world on stilts.
"The Rustler of Wind River" by G. W. Ogden
We may also walk on stilts, or run on skates.
"Pedagogics as a System" by Karl Rosenkranz
What he had gained from his predecessors was a direct, speaking style, and to walk on his own feet instead of on academical stilts.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
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In poetry:

Hard by lived a vain man,
So vain and so proud,
He walked on stilts
To be seen by the crowd.
"Vain And Careless" by Robert Graves
O, hoe eenzaam en verlaten,
Ik gevoel geen angst of nood,
Mag ik maar in stilte peinzen
Aan hun leven, aan hun dood!
"Engelen" by Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate
A lunging trout flashed in the sun,
To do some petty slaughter,
And set the spiders all a-run
On little stilts of water.
"An Idyl" by John Charles McNeill
Stark an' strang they grippit his arms,
An' swith the rest cam' on,
Syne trail'd they oot frae 'tween the stilts
Oor gude an' godly John.
"Ballad of The New Monkland Martyr" by Janet Hamilton
That though I loved them for their faults
As much as for their good,
My friends were enemies on stilts
With their heads in a cunning cloud.
"To Others Than You" by Dylan Thomas
Maar de dauw, die in stilte de zode besprengt,
Zal het gras des te frisscher doen groeien;
En de traan onzer smart, hoe verholen geplengd,
Doet in 't hart zijn gedachtenis bloeien.
"Grafbezoek" by Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate

In news:

Romney's stilted speech vs Obama's tone deaf message.
LeBron's MVP campaign could be stilted .
Stilted script traps actors in 'Spanish Prisoner'.
Town Proposes to Put Museum on Stilts in TR Park.
Music Review Vetiver and Crystal Stilts.
For 20 years, the Burns family made warm memories in their cedar-sided beach house on stilts.
At this year's Fremont Solstice Parade, we put Baby Z up on a pair of junior-sized stilts, threw on some colorful clothing and and went parade crashing.
Arin Ray Sounds Stilted on 'X Factor'.
At least maybe stilt skating got a start here.
Josh Stilts, Berkshire Eagle Staff.
Mike Stilts says "I got this tattoo because I'm a huge Steelers fan".
A Hawaiian stilt wades in a Kihei wetland late last week as dawn lights up the West Maui Mountains.
A woman in Mumbai, India, washing the feet of her child outside an open toilet on stilts where the waste goes directly into an open water source.
Arnie 'Stilts' Risen won two NBA titles: news obituary.
On their sophomore effort, Crystal Stilts fell short of our expectations.
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In science:

In stilte onderzochten ze het knipperende ding verder.
Radio Pulsars
TOPCAT (Taylor 2005) was used extensively in both its desktop version and its command line counterpart STILTS (Taylor 2006).
Astroinformatics of galaxies and quasars: a new general method for photometric redshifts estimation
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