1. A cheerful or lively manner of speaking, in which the pitch of the voice varies pleasantly.
2. A light, happy tune or song.
3. A light or resilient manner of moving or walking.
v. lilt·ed, lilt·ing, lilts
To say, sing, or play (something) in a cheerful, rhythmic manner.
To speak, sing, or play with liveliness or rhythm.
[From Middle English lulten, lilten, to sound an alarm.]
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:
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.