Share this entry

Share this page

kilter

Line breaks: kil¦ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkɪltə
 
/

Definition of kilter in English:

noun

(in phrase out of kilter)
Out of harmony or balance: daylight saving throws everybody’s body clock out of kilter
More example sentences
  • House of Lords reform is up for debate next year, council elections need reform, the balance of power is out of kilter, but it's all hotch-potch and hand-to-mouth.
  • But when the two banks amalgamated, it threw the whole religious balance out of kilter.
  • The numbers are out of kilter and the balance is wrong.
Synonyms
awry, off balance, unbalanced, out of order, not in working order, disordered, confused, disorderly, disorganized, muddled, in poor shape;
disharmonious, discordant, out of tune, out of step

Origin

early 17th century: of unknown origin.

More
  • The word kilter, meaning ‘good condition or order’, emerges in English dialect use in the 17th century, and is recorded in areas from Northumberland to Cornwall. It survives in mainstream language only in the phrase out of kilter, meaning ‘out of balance’.

Words that rhyme with kilter

filter, philtre (US philter), quilter, tilter

Definition of kilter in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…