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

  • n. The skin of an animal with the fur or hair still on it.
  • n. A stripped animal skin ready for tanning.
  • transitive v. To strike or assail repeatedly with or as if with blows or missiles; bombard: pelted each other with snowballs.
  • transitive v. To cast, hurl, or throw (missiles): children who pelted stones at the neighbors' windows.
  • transitive v. To strike repeatedly: Hailstones pelted the tent.
  • intransitive v. To beat or strike heavily and repeatedly.
  • intransitive v. To move at a vigorous gait.
  • n. A sharp blow; a whack.
  • n. A rapid pace: galloped away at a pelt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The skin of a beast with the hair on; a raw or undressed hide; a skin preserved with the hairy or woolly covering on it.
  • n. The body of any quarry killed by a hawk.
  • n. Human skin.
  • v. To bombard, as with missiles.
  • v. To rain or hail heavily.
  • v. To throw out words.
  • v. To beat or hit, especially repeatedly.
  • v. To move rapidly, especially in or on a conveyance.
  • n. A blow or stroke from something thrown.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The skin of a beast with the hair on; a raw or undressed hide; a skin preserved with the hairy or woolly covering on it. See 4th fell.
  • n. The human skin.
  • n. The body of any quarry killed by the hawk.
  • n. A blow or stroke from something thrown.
  • intransitive v. To throw missiles.
  • intransitive v. To throw out words.
  • transitive v. To strike with something thrown or driven; to assail with pellets or missiles
  • transitive v. To throw; to use as a missile.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To push; thrust.
  • To assail with missiles; assail or strike with something thrown.
  • To throw; cast; hurl.
  • To throw missiles.
  • To fall or descend (on one) with violence or persistency: as, a pelting rain.
  • To proceed rapidly and without intermission; hurry on: as, the horses pelted along at a fine pace.
  • To bandy words; use abusive language; be in a passion.
  • To submit; become paltry.
  • To skin; fleece; pluck the pelt from.
  • n. A blow or stroke from something thrown.
  • n. Rage; anger; passion.
  • n. The skin of a beast with the hair on it, especially of one of the smaller animals used in furriery; specifically, a fur-skin dried but not prepared for use as fur; a raw hide: sometimes applied to a garment made from such a skin.
  • n. The mangled quarry of a hawk; the dead body of a bird killed by a hawk.
  • n. Soft leather used for covering inking-pelds.
  • n. Synonyms Hide, etc. See skin.

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

  • v. attack and bombard with or as if with missiles
  • v. cast, hurl, or throw repeatedly with some missile
  • v. rain heavily
  • n. body covering of a living animal
  • n. the dressed hairy coat of a mammal


Middle English, probably from Old French pelete, diminutive of pel, skin, from Latin pellis; see pel-3 in Indo-European roots.
Middle English pelten, variant of pilten, perhaps ultimately from Latin pultāre, to beat, variant of pulsāre, frequentative of pellere, to strike; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French pelette, diminutive of pel ("a skin"), from Latin pellis. Alternatively a contraction of peltry ("skins") from the same Old French and Latin roots. (Wiktionary)
Possible contraction of pellet (Wiktionary)


  • The fact that not only compounds already existing may convert pelt into leather, but that a similar effect is obtained _inside the pelt_, by their components, is indeed of theoretical interest.

    Synthetic Tannins

  • The pelt is rather pretty if you're into killing stuff for that reason (and I don't).

    I hate to put down another shooter's game, but we've already broken the ice with canned hunts.

  • Yer second pelt is goin to be with a crate of rotten tomaters.

    Think Progress » Quote Of The Day:

  • One of Koon's students tested the claim and found it wanting ( "The optical loss ... 2 decibels per mm ... essentially eliminates the possibility that the polar bear's pelt is behaving like an optical fiber in order to transmit light to the bear's skin for conversion to heat").

    Fibre optics - the bear facts

  • The fairy might steal a pelt from the trapper's supply; that would certainly keep him warm; and if he were anything of a tailor he could make himself a cap and a coat in no time.

    This Way to Christmas

  • And, though I was now nearsighted and colorblind, my nose gave me a worldful of smells, my ears captured sounds a man never hears, every hair on my pelt was a feeler feeding into my nerves.

    Operation Luna

  • His legs, stomach, chest, and upper back were covered with a coarse brown hair that was not enough to be called a pelt, but not far from it.

    The Clan of the Cave Bear

  • The pelt, which is unaltered by the hydroquinone bath, on being removed from the latter, and in the presence of alkali, assumes a red colour at first, which changes into violet, blue, and finally brown, the pelt being thereby converted into a quinone-tanned leather.

    Synthetic Tannins

  • A characteristic feature of this synthetic tannin is its behaviour in concentrated form towards pelt, which is not attacked by it, but is readily tanned even at such high concentrations.

    Synthetic Tannins

  • With the free trader a pelt is a pelt, prime or unprime, it makes no difference.

    Connie Morgan in the Fur Country


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