Meaning of kilt in English:


Pronunciation /kɪlt/

Translate kilt into Spanish


  • A garment resembling a knee-length skirt of pleated tartan cloth, traditionally worn by men as part of Scottish Highland dress and now also worn by women and girls.

    ‘The abstract elements of beadwork patterns play a key role in flagging difference - like the tartan kilts of Scottish clans.’
    • ‘The venerable Leith-based firm, best known for its Highland dress, kilts and tartans, boosted sales by around £4m from its pool of more than 80 menswear outlets in Japanese department stores last year.’
    • ‘In this way, the entire Scottish nation adopted the bogus Highland symbols of kilt and tartan.’
    • ‘Woollen kilts, Hessian full-length skirts, single shoulder organza tops and transparent trousers appear in earthy tones of brown and green.’
    • ‘Inevitably - for the museum will cater to the tourist as much to the home-based enthusiast, one gallery is devoted to the Highland soldier whose kilts and tartans turned him into a romantic cult.’
    • ‘In another corner small girls in kilts and black waistcoats were doing sword dances to pipe music.’
    • ‘First, he insults the national dress of Scotland by wearing that skirt masquerading as a kilt at the Tartan Day celebrations in New York.’
    • ‘What most people associate with ‘Scottishness’ - tartan kilts, whisky, bagpipes and tossing the caber - are traditions descended from the Gaelic Highlands.’
    • ‘The company plans to supply a range of black tartan kilts to meet demand for more contemporary-looking Highland clothing.’
    • ‘The photographer scattered cotton reels on our billowing skirts and we pretended to weave some kilts for our wild Scottish blokes out there in the hills.’
    • ‘On Labor Day, Heather and Ted were married aboard the Queen Mary in a lavish ceremony replete with Edwardian-era costumes, bagpipers and Scottish kilts for the groom and his friends.’
    • ‘The famous Braemar Games are in early September and offer a great chance to ogle Scottish sportsmen in their kilts.’
    • ‘A Scottish kid in a kilt (he said it helped him get rides) disappeared up the Copland Pass trailhead.’
    • ‘There was a time in the 80's when it looked as if the clans were gathering again to avenge Glencoe, so ubiquitous was the tartan kilt.’
    • ‘This pleased Ritchie, who can don his kilt by claiming Scottish kin in the form of a grandfather who served in the Seaforth Highlanders.’
    • ‘He borrowed a kilt from a Scottish friend and, wearing just that and his work boots, went into the office with the bottle of whisky.’
    • ‘Along with the industrialists and merchants of Glasgow and Edinburgh, they assembled in Edinburgh dressed lavishly in tartan, wearing kilts, singing Robert Burns songs.’
    • ‘We are back to that old business of trying to create a new image of Scotland because foreigners, bless'em, think of the auld country only in terms of kilts and tartan and all that old-fashioned stuff.’
    • ‘Thank goodness Scotland invented tartan and the kilt and not the nylon shirt or the polyester jacket.’
    • ‘Traditional Scottish Bagpipes, kilts, lamb on the spit, golf, flyfishing and drams of Bell's Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky - what more do you need?’


[with object]
  • 1Gather (a garment or material) in vertical pleats.

    ‘I looked longingly at my breeches, but picked up the next best thing, one of the long kilted skirts I used for riding.’
    • ‘If the Scottish Tourist Board - or whatever daft name they now go under - were to design a mock Highland town full of tartan tat and kilted kitsch for the benefit of tourists, they might very well come up with Inveraray.’
    • ‘Over 40' and up to 44' use four yards in a kilted skirt and five yards in a proper.’
  • 2usually kilt something upTuck up one's skirts around one's body.

    ‘She kilted up her kirtle, because of the dew that she saw lying deep on the grass, and so went her way down through the garden.’
    • ‘So she kilted up her petticoats and started to run home.’


Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘tuck up around the body’): of Scandinavian origin; compare with Danish kilte (op) ‘tuck (up)’ and Old Norse kilting ‘a skirt’. The noun dates from the mid 18th century.