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[kwilt] /kwɪlt/
a coverlet for a bed, made of two layers of fabric with some soft substance, as wool or down, between them and stitched in patterns or tufted through all thicknesses in order to prevent the filling from shifting.
anything quilted or resembling a quilt.
a bedspread or counterpane, especially a thick one.
Obsolete. a mattress.
verb (used with object)
to stitch together (two pieces of cloth and a soft interlining), usually in an ornamental pattern.
to sew up between pieces of material.
to pad or line with material.
verb (used without object)
to make quilts or quilted work.
Origin of quilt
1250-1300; Middle English quilte < Old French cuilte < Latin culcita mattress, cushion
Related forms
quilter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quilt
  • Have students create a cultural celebration quilt or banner.
  • The untrained eye might have seen only a crazy quilt of intersecting angles.
  • The bloodstained swatches from the quilt are gone, too.
  • Or recycle the fabric into pieced quilt blocks for the top of a homemade quilt.
  • F you applied today's world headlines to this microcosmic city, it would be easy to imagine a quilt torn to shreds.
  • It is within walking distance of the town's craft, furniture, and quilt shops.
  • It was a crazy quilt of multicolored blocks, with lines radiating in all directions.
  • It also helps that the store sells patterns and supplies for making all kinds of non-quilt items, including handbags and toys.
  • Every society has been tantalized by the great loom of the sky with its flowing quilt of stars.
  • Students will be more engaged when their quilt has a purpose.
British Dictionary definitions for quilt


a thick warm cover for a bed, consisting of a soft filling sewn between two layers of material, usually with crisscross seams
a bedspread or counterpane
anything quilted or resembling a quilt
verb (transitive)
to stitch together (two pieces of fabric) with (a thick padding or lining) between them: to quilt cotton and wool
to create (a garment, covering, etc) in this way
to pad with material
(Austral, informal) to strike; clout
Derived Forms
quilter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French coilte mattress, from Latin culcita stuffed item of bedding
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quilt

c.1300, "mattress with soft lining," from Anglo-French quilte, Old French cuilte, coute "quilt, mattress" (12c.), from Latin culcita "mattress, bolster," of unknown origin. Sense of "thick outer bed covering" is first recorded 1590s.


1550s, from quilt (n.). Related: Quilted; quilting. Quilting bee attested from 1824 (see bee).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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