from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A knee-length skirt with deep pleats, usually of a tartan wool, worn as part of the dress for men in the Scottish Highlands.
  • noun A similar skirt worn by women, girls, and boys.
  • transitive verb To tuck up (something) around the body.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the original Highland dress, that part of the belted plaid which hung below the waist; in modern times, a separate garment, a sort of petticoat reaching from the girdle nearly to the knees, composed of tartan and deeply plaited. The garment is imitated in various fabrics for children's wear. See kilting.
  • To tuck up; truss Up (the clothes).
  • In dressmaking, to lay (a skirt or a flounce) in deep, flat, longitudinal plaits hanging free at the bottom, in the fashion of a Highland kilt.
  • noun An obsolete or dialectal preterit and past participle of kill.
  • Small; lean; slender.
  • To step lightly and nimbly, as if with the skirts kilted out of the way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • obsolete p. p. from kill.
  • noun A kind of short petticoat, reaching from the waist to the knees, worn in the Highlands of Scotland by men, and in the Lowlands by young boys; a filibeg.
  • transitive verb Scot. To tuck up; to truss up, as the clothes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical Any Scottish garment from which the above lies in a direct line of descent, such as the philibeg, or the great kilt or belted plaid;
  • noun a plaid, pleated school uniform skirt sometimes structured as a wrap around, sometimes pleated throughout the entire circumference;
  • noun a variety of non-bifurcated garments made for men and loosely resembling a Scottish kilt, but most often made from different fabrics and not always with tartan plaid designs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a knee-length pleated tartan skirt worn by men as part of the traditional dress in the Highlands of northern Scotland


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From kilt, to tuck up, from Middle English kilten, of Scandinavian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Apparently of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish kilt ("to tuck"), Swedish kilta ("to swathe"), Old Norse kjalta ("skirt; lap") (perhaps from Proto-Germanic *kelt-, *kelþōn, *kelþīn (“womb”), from Proto-Indo-European *gelt- (“round body, child”)).


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  • -- _I'm kilt all over_ means that he is in a worse state than being simply _kilt_.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 04 Maria Edgeworth 1808

  • Harvey wrote when sending the kilt, I feel so very good that the kilt is where it should be.

    Never Forgotten Newsletter 2009

  • She can be seen, in kilt skirt and bunches, in the kitchen sink classic A Taste of Honey.

    So on message it hurts 2006

  • If someone calls his kilt a skirt, he smiles and tells them, "It's only a skirt if I'm wearing pumps with it."

    The Independent Home RSS 2009

  • And I gotta admit, that leather kilt is pretty damn fucking hot.

    Skirts ARE unisex, dammit. fantasyecho 2007

  • On Saturday, when we went into Newsroom for dinner, I got compliments on the kilt from a few of the women who worked there, but the male staff gave me some "what the fuck" looks.

    Pride in a skirt... err... kilt! drewan 2005

  • One evening, as myself and my brother, who was then a flaxen headed little fellow, dressed in kilt and tartans, were playing on the grass-plot just described, I saw a strange gentleman enter the postern; and, while we continued at our amusement, we sometimes looked up to remark on him to each other, as he walked to and fro in the pathway beyond the grass: for he appeared very different from the usual order of gentlemen we had seen.

    The Scottish Chiefs 1875

  • While Stormy Leather’s black leather kilt is wonderful, they didn’t have it in my size, so rather than buy it and wear it a size too big, then have it altered after the event, I decided to forgo such decadent pleasures for tomorrow night’s holiday ball.

    Sad News About Scottish Garments « Skid Roche 2003

  • For example, shaving your legs before you wear a kilt is a party foul.

    A Year Without Fear Scott Adams 2011

  • We don't wear sarongs to class -- though Edwin sometimes wears a kilt, which is pretty smart, given the sand pit.

    Notes to Myself Steve Perry 2009


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  • See also: man-skirt

    April 2, 2007

  • And, from the "what a fuckin' idiot" file, comes this gem.

    (Not the kid, of course; the principal.)

    May 19, 2009