Definition of kilt in English:


Translate kilt into Spanish

Pronunciation /kilt/ /kɪlt/


  • 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?’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Gather (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.’


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.



/kilt/ /kɪlt/