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hilt

[hilt] /hɪlt/
noun
1.
the handle of a sword or dagger.
2.
the handle of any weapon or tool.
verb (used with object)
3.
to furnish with a hilt.
Idioms
4.
to the hilt, to the maximum extent or degree; completely; fully:
to play the role to the hilt.
Also, up to the hilt.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English hilt(e); cognate with Middle Dutch hilt(e), Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza handle of a sword
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for to the hilt

hilt

/hɪlt/
noun
1.
the handle or shaft of a sword, dagger, etc
2.
to the hilt, to the full
verb
3.
(transitive) to supply with a hilt
Word Origin
Old English; related to Old Norse hjalt, Old Saxon helta oar handle, Old High German helza
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 to the hilt

hilt

n.

Old English hilt "hilt, handle of a sword or dagger," from Proto-Germanic *helt (cf. Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza "hilt," Old Saxon helta "oar handle"), perhaps from PIE *kel- "to strike." Formerly also used in plural in same sense as singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with to the hilt

to the hilt

Also, up to the hilt. Completely, to the maximum degree, as in The house was mortgaged up to the hilt. This idiom alludes to the handle (hilt) of a sword, the only portion that remains out when the weapon is plunged all the way in. The figurative use of the term was first recorded in 1687.

hilt

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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