pelt 2 (pĕlt)
v. pelt·ed, pelt·ing, pelts
a. To strike or assail repeatedly with thrown objects: pelted each other with snowballs. See Synonyms at barrage2.
b. Archaic To strike (someone) with blows, as with a club.
2. To hurl or throw (missiles): children who pelted stones at the neighbors' windows.
3. To fall upon; strike repeatedly: Hailstones pelted the tent.
1. To fall heavily or abundantly; beat: The rain pelted down all day.
2. To move at a vigorous gait: "A rider on a lathered horse came pelting down the Orange Plank Road" (Stephen W. Sears).
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.