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Stilt

stilt

1. A pole, or piece of wood, constructed with a step or loop to raise the foot above the ground in walking. It is sometimes lashed to the leg, and sometimes prolonged upward so as to be steadied by the hand or arm. Ambition is but avarice on stilts, and masked. (Landor)

2. A crutch; also, the handle of a plow.

3. (Science: ornithology) Any species of limicoline birds belonging to Himantopus and allied genera, in which the legs are remarkably long and slender.

Synonym: longshanks, stiltbird, stilt plover, and lawyer.

The American species (Himantopus Mexicanus) is well known. The European and Asiatic stilt (H. Candidus) is usually white, except the wings and interscapulars, which are greenish black. The white-headed stilt (H. Leucocephalus) and the banded stilt (Cladorhynchus pectoralis) are found in australia.

(Science: zoology) Stilt plover, an American sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus) having long legs. The bill is somewhat expanded at the tip.

Origin: OE. Stilte; akin to Dan. Stylte, Sw. Stylta, LG. & D. Stelt, OHG. Stelza, G. Stelze, and perh. To E. Stout.


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