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Celt (kĕlt, sĕlt) also Kelt (kĕlt)
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n.
1. One of an Indo-European people originally of central Europe and spreading to western Europe, the British Isles, and southeast to Galatia during pre-Roman times, especially a Briton or Gaul.
2. A native speaker of a modern Celtic language or a descendant of such a speaker, especially a modern Gael, Welsh person, Cornish person, or Breton.

[French Celte, sing. of Celtes, Celts, from Latin Celtae, from Greek Keltoi.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
celt (sĕlt)
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n.
A common prehistoric tool of stone or metal, shaped like a chisel or axe head.

[Medieval Latin celtis, chisel probably back-formed from celte, a word found in some manuscripts of the Vulgate (Job 14:24) and interpreted as the ablative of a Latin *celtis, chisel, but probably a misreading of Latin certē, certainly.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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