Word Origin & History
O.E. *tyltan "to be unsteady," from tealt "unsteady," from P.Gmc. *taltaz (cf. O.N. tyllast "to trip," Swed. tulta "to waddle," Norw. tylta "to walk on tip-toe," M.Du. touteren "to swing"). Meaning "to cause to lean, tip, slope" (1594) is from sense of "push or fall over." Intrans. sense first recorded
1626. Meaning "condition of being tilted" is recorded from 1837.
"a joust, a combat," 1511, perhaps from tilt
(v.) on the notion of "to lean" into an attack, but the word originally seems to have been the name of the barrier which separated the combatants, which suggests connection with tilt in an earlier meaning "covering of coarse cloth,
an awning" (c.1440), which is probably from tilt
(v.), but perhaps related to or influenced by tent, or it may be from a Gmc. source akin to O.E. beteldan "to cover." The verb is recorded from 1595. Hence, also full tilt (c.1600).