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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.
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 stilettos
  • Less traditional are the bare expanse of taut stomach, the skin-tight hipster trousers and the six-inch stilettos.
  • They suggest stretching exercises and switching now and again from stilettos to other shoes.
  • Twenty-four hours later she was on-set for her first photo shoot, trading scrubs and a stethoscope for silk and stilettos.
  • Let's put you away from the people wearing stilettos and standing uneasily on the stairs.
  • These raider stilettos were issued to all four battalions for the later campaigns.
  • The accelerator was indeed comfortable and easy to use in my stilettos.
  • Models stormed the runways in chunky heels instead of stilettos.
  • Flats have outpaced stilettos as the chic shoes for fall.
British Dictionary definitions for stilettos


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 stilettos



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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