Definitions

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

  • n. The handle of a weapon or tool.
  • idiom to the hilt To the limit; completely: played the role to the hilt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The handle of a sword, consisting of grip, guard, and pommel, designed to facilitate use of the blade and afford protection to the hand.
  • n. The base of the penis
  • v. To provide with a hilt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A handle; especially, the handle of a sword, dagger, or the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That part of a sword, dagger, or similar weapon which affords a grasp for the hand, and usually a protection for it as well.
  • n. A sword or foil.
  • n. The handle of a shield.

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

  • n. the handle of a sword or dagger

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English hilt, hilte. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The hilt is cast metal with antique nickel plate and leather wrap.

    Needle Is Here!

  • We borrowed to the hilt from the Chinese, and we couldn't even fight the war without the Chinese, but the market is telling us we can't continue to print and create money out of thin air to fight this war and run the domestic welfare state because it will ruin the dollar, and that's what the dollar is telling us today.

    CNN Transcript Jan 6, 2008

  • The emerald upon his turban was as large as a man's eye, and his sword hilt was studded with turquoise and pearls and the hilt was a blazon of gold.

    The Palace of Darkened Windows

  • Brydon knew that in time the blood would seep down onto his sword hilt and make the grip slippery.

    The Gauntlet Thrown Chapter Thirty Seven

  • Number one, he's a frustrated jock, who played the old “if you can't do it, talk about it” bit of wish fulfillment to the ever-lovin 'hilt.

    Sacked!

  • So all of us who were prudent and saved instead of borrowing to the hilt are about to be well and truly shafted by a bout of hyper-inflation.

    Who's for hyper-inflation?

  • The people who support Obama to the hilt are the same people who ignore every action he actually takes and cling to the notion that his ‘aspirations’ and stated goals are all that matter.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Right’s Growth Record

  • An ultimate Washington insider to the sword hilt, he was the catalyst for the Plame Affair, which for my money (follow the money!) was the most fascinating real-life crime mystery ever, with all the classic elements: spies, traitors, journalists sworn to protect their scumbag sources, smoking guns, powerful people up to and including the president of the United States, a sexy blond lady as the victim.

    Scott Shrake: Robert D. Novak Is in the Book

  • The sword holds the Eye of Thundera, embedded in its hilt, which is the source of the ThunderCats's power.

    1980's Flashback: ThunderCats

  • The hilt was a pair of twined snakes in an intricate triangle of spikes emanating perpendicularly outward from the eye sockets of an open-mouthed snake skull.

    Black Magic

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