Definition of tilt in English:


Syllabification: tilt
Pronunciation: /tilt


  • 1Move or cause to move into a sloping position: [no object]: the floor tilted slightly [with object]: he tilted his head to one side
    More example sentences
    • When Morgan left in 1996 the balance of power was tilting gently again towards Kerry.
    • It's a travesty because if anything the axis of power has been tilting back towards men in recent years.
    • I eased off the brakes and pulled on the power lines by tilting the handles towards me.
    slope, tip, lean, list, bank, slant, incline, pitch, cant, angle
  • 1.1Change or cause to change in favor of one person or thing as opposed to another: [no object]: the balance of industrial power tilted towards the workers
    More example sentences
    • The swing states are generally tilting to the Democratic nominee.
    • In the particular case of Iraq in 2002, I believe the balance tilts strongly toward action.
    • Under the protective shield provided by the central bank, the US financial system has became tilted toward relentless expansion.
  • 1.2 [with object] Move (a camera) in a vertical plane.
    More example sentences
    • He probably has no better idea than I do of why he occasionally tilts the camera or uses slow motion.
    • Shooting from a high vantage point and tilting the camera down so it is more parallel to the plane of the foreground also helps extend the range of sharp focus.
    • And if you tilt your camera to take a picture of a building or a monument, vertical lines will converge and rectangles turn into trapezoids.
  • 2 [no object] (tilt at) • historical (In jousting) thrust at with a lance or other weapon: he tilts at his prey figurative the lonely hero tilting at the system
    More example sentences
    • The same might be said of rifle practice, as compared with bravely tilting at an enemy with spear and shield upon an open field of battle.
    • But he's already tilted at, and failed to land, Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and Germany's Commerzbank.
  • 2.1 (tilt with) • archaic Engage in a contest with: I resolved never to tilt with a French lady in compliment
    More example sentences
    • National Guardsmen regularly tilted with protesting workers convinced that they were once again, as in 1830, about to be cheated of their revolution.


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  • 1A sloping position or movement: the tilt of her head the coffee cup was on a tilt
    More example sentences
    • But I could feel that we were descending slowly - after two solid days on aeroplanes, my inner ear was sensitive to the tilt of movement.
    • A primary factor controlling the seasons and climate is the obliquity, the tilt of the planet's spin axis with respect to the normal to the orbital plane.
    • Marked changes in the axial tilt of the Earth have also taken place.
  • 1.1An upward or downward pivoting movement of a camera: pans and tilts
    More example sentences
    • The upward tilt of the camera captures the perfect equipoise of the acrobat featured against a dull grey sky.
    • If you do get a tripod make sure its a good one, you want a fluid head so your pans and tilts are smooth.
    • The use of camera or lens movements, such as tilts, swings and rising or falling film and lens standards permits a further range of control.
  • 1.2An inclination or bias: the paper’s tilt toward the Republicans
    More example sentences
    • The tilt toward Israel will not soon be forgotten by the Arab world, but it will be harder for the administration to claim that Bush's support of Sharon has made a difference.
    • However, the significance of the candidates' list resides not so much in the prospects of the individual contenders as in its heavy tilt towards the conservative camp.
    • And it is a transition characterised by a tilt towards Islamist conservatism, with all its geopolitical consequences.
  • 1.3 short for tilt hammer.
  • 2 historical A combat for exercise or sport between two men on horseback with lances; a joust.
  • 2.1 (tilt at) An attempt at winning (something) or defeating (someone), especially in sports: a tilt at the championship
    More example sentences
    • Gary Dale, needless to say, has Frank's unqualified endorsement for the impending electoral tilt.
    • He is calling on his Lancaster City players to go out on a high before he sits down and plots next season's tilt towards the Conference.
    • And you might have thought he'd be happy he was not running for the Board this year after three consecutive tilts!


(at) full tilt

With maximum energy or force; at top speed.
More example sentences
  • ‘It was at full tilt and was almost at take-off speed,’ said Chris Formby, chief fire officer at the airport.
  • ‘They ran full tilt the second he hit the shot,’ said Watson.
  • And that's before his company was even going full tilt.
(at) full speed, at top speed, full bore, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop, helter-skelter, headlong, pell-mell, at breakneck speed, with great force, with full force
informal like crazy, like mad, hell-bent for leather, a mile a minute, like the wind, like a bat out of hell, like (greased) lightning, lickety-split, full blast, all out, with a vengeance
literary apace

tilt at windmills

Attack imaginary enemies or evils.
[with allusion to the story of Don Quixote tilting at windmills, believing they were giants]
More example sentences
  • Hopefully, their officers will fall into line, tackle the real issues of the GAA and stop tilting at windmills.
  • If you diversify into activity where you have no competitive advantage you are just tilting at windmills.
  • It's not hard to see the appeal of a romantic dreamer forever tilting at windmills - Welles spent his life fighting the mundane reality of unrealised ambitions and broken promises.



More example sentences
  • It has said the tilters would cut the fastest York-London journey time by nine minutes to just 1 hour, 32 minutes by 2004, with further improvements possible later if the railway infrastructure is upgraded.
  • I bade him farewell, and pushed into the crowd to get a view of the tilters.


late Middle English (in the sense 'fall or cause to fall, topple'): perhaps related to Old English tealt 'unsteady', or perhaps of Scandinavian origin and related to Norwegian tylten 'unsteady' and Swedish tulta 'totter'.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody