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Stilt   Listen
Stilt  n.  
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."
A crutch; also, the handle of a plow. (Prov. Eng.)
(Zool.) 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. Note: The American species (Himantopus Mexicanus) is well known. The European and Asiatic stilt (Himantopus candidus) is usually white, except the wings and interscapulars, which are greenish black. The white-headed stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) and the banded stilt (Cladorhynchus pectoralis) are found in Australia.
Stilt plover (Zool.), the stilt.
Stilt sandpiper (Zool.), an American sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus) having long legs. The bill is somewhat expanded at the tip.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Stilt" Quotes from Famous Books

... credulity of the beholder: they were legs in caricature; and had we seen such proportions on a Chinese or Japan screen we should have made large allowances for the fancy of the draughtsman. These birds are of the plover family, and might with propriety be called the stilt plovers. Brisson, under that idea, gives them the apposite name of l'echasse. My specimen, when drawn and stuffed with pepper, weighed only four ounces and a quarter, though the naked part of the thigh measured three inches ...
— The Natural History of Selborne • Gilbert White

... flap of his wings; or when, standing now on one foot, now on the other, he looks so solemnly at things, that one would think he was devoutly meditating over something or other; or, again, when, on his long stilt-like legs, he gravely strides over the meadows. With great attention we listened as children to the strange tales and songs which related to this sacred bird, as our mother told them to us and then added with solemn ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... (recruits) I had been warned early to beware the "sympathy dodge." But experience is the only real teacher. One afternoon I bestraddled a crazy, stilt-legged Jamaican horse to go out into the bush beyond the Panama line to fetch and deliver a citizen of that sovereign republic who was wanted on the Zone for horse-stealing. At the town of Sabanas, where those Panamanians who have bagged the most loot since American occupation have their ...
— Zone Policeman 88 - A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and its Workers • Harry A. Franck

... air, light, and soil. In the effort to spread their roots, some of the weaker sort, unable to find a footing, climb a powerful neighbor, and let their roots dangle in the air; while many a full-grown tree has been lifted up, as it were, in the strife, and now stands on the ends of its stilt-like roots, so that a man may walk upright between the roots and ...
— The Andes and the Amazon - Across the Continent of South America • James Orton

... ringing those first glad notes, caught nearer the Throne than those of any other bird, "Spring o' year! Spring o' year!"; while stilt-legged little killdeers were scudding around the Limberlost and beside the river, flinging from cloudland their "Kill deer! Kill deer!" call. The robins in the orchards were pulling the long dried blades of last year's grass from beneath the snow to line their mud-walled cups; and ...
— The Song of the Cardinal • Gene Stratton-Porter

... his weather-vane head till he saw a frog ahead, then stalk him slowly, deliberately, with immense caution; as if he knew as well as I how watchful the frogs are at his approach, and how quickly they dive headlong for cover at the first glint of his stilt-like legs. Nearer and nearer he would glide, standing motionless as a gray root when he thought his game was watching him; then on again more cautiously, bending far forward and drawing his neck back to the angle of greatest speed and power for a blow. A quick start, a thrust like lightning—then ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... representation of the counties is, I think, still preserved pure and uncorrupted. That of the greatest cities is upon a footing equally respectable; and there are many of the larger trading towns which stilt preserve their independence. The infusion of health which I now allude to would be to permit every county to elect one member more in addition to their present representation." Sir Philip Francis's report of this speech was first printed by Almon in 1792. ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... instantly all nerve and tension. With the utmost caution he came over the high sedges on his stilt-like legs to the brink of the creek and posed. I doubt if a frog or a minnow could have told he was a thing of life. Stiff as a stub, every muscle taut, all alert, he stood, till—flash! and the long ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... After Waterloo he had exerted all his great influence, the greater from his position, to induce the Guard to retire behind the Loire, and to submit to the Bourbons. It was because Davoust so needed him that Drouot remained with the army. Stilt Drouot was selected for death, but the evidence of his position was too strong to enable the Court to condemn him. Cambronne, another selection, had also gone with Napoleon to Elba. Savory, another selection, ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... see him on page 11. His stilts are of bamboo wood, and he calls them "Heron-legs," after the long-legged snowy herons that strut about in the wet rice-fields. When he struts about on them, he wedges the upright between his big and second toe as if the stilt was like his shoes. He has a good view of his two friends who are wrestling, and probably making hideous noises like wild animals as they try to throw one another. They have seen fat public wrestlers stand on opposite sides of ...
— Child-Life in Japan and Japanese Child Stories • Mrs. M. Chaplin Ayrton

Words linked to "Stilt" :   black-necked stilt, genus Himantopus, piling, pillar, limicoline bird, Himantopus, shore bird, sheet pile, pile, Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus, Cladorhyncus leucocephalum, black-winged stilt, white-headed stilt, shorebird, spile, banded stilt, Himantopus novae-zelandiae

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