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[sti-let-oh] /stɪˈlɛt oʊ/
noun, plural stilettos, stilettoes.
a short dagger with a blade that is thick in proportion to its width.
a pointed instrument for making eyelet holes in needlework.
verb (used with object), stilettoed, stilettoing.
to stab or kill with a stiletto.
Origin of stiletto
1605-15; < Italian, equivalent to stil(o) dagger (< Latin stilus stylus) + -etto -ette
Related forms
stilettolike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stiletto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With your stiletto pierce a hole in the outlined edge till it is just the size of the stamped eyelet.

  • The instrument used must have been a long thin dagger or stiletto.

  • Then a clean-cut idea stabbed him like a stiletto: was this Vanessa or Iole?

    Iole Robert W. Chambers
  • As for the other palace servants, they had been silenced with bribery or the stiletto.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • The human in her used the stiletto or hatpin, the animal in her used claws.

    Christopher Quarles Percy James Brebner
  • And he recognized the girl with the stiletto whom he had caught in his hotel room.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • Frenzied, I turned; one stroke of my stiletto, and my wounded honour was salved—with gore.

  • Take away, I entreat you, this stiletto, which henceforth is useless to me.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
British Dictionary definitions for stiletto


noun (pl) -tos
a small dagger with a slender tapered blade
a sharply pointed tool used to make holes in leather, cloth, etc
Also called spike heel, stiletto heel. a very high heel on a woman's shoe, tapering to a very narrow tip
verb -toes, -toing, -toed
(transitive) to stab with a stiletto
Word Origin
C17: from Italian, from stilo a dagger, from Latin stilus a stake, pen; see stylus
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 stiletto

1610s, "short dagger with a thick blade," from Italian stiletto, diminutive of stilo "dagger," from Latin stilus "pointed writing instrument" (see style (n.)). Stiletto heel first attested 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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