pelt

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See also: Pelt

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Pelts (etymology 1, noun sense 1) of minks (subfamily Mustelinae).
People pelting (etymology 2, verb sense 1.1) each other with snowballs on the steps of what is now the Florida Historic Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A., on February 10, 1899.

Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is derived from Middle English pelt (skin of a sheep, especially without the wool);[1] further etymology uncertain, possibly:[2]

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

Noun[edit]

pelt (plural pelts)

  1. The skin of an animal with the hair or wool on; either a raw or undressed hide, or a skin preserved with the hair or wool on it (sometimes worn as a garment with minimal modification).
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], “The First Gun”, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC, page 1:
      Perhaps the reason why he [a stuffed fox] seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
    • 1922 July, E[velyn] Charles Vivian, “White Man’s Magic: A Story of the Canadian Mounted Police”, in The Boy’s Own Paper, volume XLV, part 9, London: “Boy’s Own Paper” Office, [], →OCLC, page 617, column 1:
      My people got themselves pelts and pelts—there was such a trapping as comes but few times in a life. Pelts and pelts, the silver and the grey—fine pelts.
  2. (also figuratively) The skin of an animal (especially a goat or sheep) with the hair or wool removed, often in preparation for tanning.
  3. The fur or hair of a living animal.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC, page 116, lines 670–673:
      The Cauſes and the Signs ſhall next be told, / Of ev'ry Sickneſs that infects the Fold [of sheep]. / A ſcabby Tetter on their pelts vvill ſtick, / VVhen the ravv Rain has pierc'd 'em to the quick: []
  4. (chiefly Ireland, humorous, informal) Human skin, especially when bare; also, a person's hair.
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, chapter XVII, in Age of Consent, London: T[homas] Werner Laurie [], →OCLC, page 177:
      Put on your dress, ye shameless witch, standin' there in your pelt I'll take a strap to, for havin' the conceit out of you, for by your idling had lost me the sup of gin to keep the breath of life in me. Cover your scut, or I'll welt the skin off it.
  5. (obsolete)
    1. A garment made from animal skins.
    2. (falconry) The body of any quarry killed by a hawk; also, a dead bird given to a hawk for food.
      • 1852, Richard F[rancis] Burton, “A Day with the Bashah”, in Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, London: John Van Voorst, [], →OCLC, page 60:
        If two [hawks] are flown they are certain to fell the game at once, and the falconer is always flurried by their violent propensity to crab over the "pelt."
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pelt (third-person singular simple present pelts, present participle pelting, simple past and past participle pelted) (transitive)

  1. To remove the skin from (an animal); to skin.
    • 1967, James J. Critchley, “The Plight of the U.S. Mink Farmer”, in Import Quotas Legislation: Hearings before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, Ninetieth Congress, First Session on Proposals to Impose Import Quotas on Oil, Steel, Textiles, Meat, Dairy Products, and Other Commodities: Part 1 [], Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, →OCLC, page 108:
      Let us take a typical case of a mink farmer here in Connecticut who is being forced to throw in the sponge this coming fall. [] He pelts from 3500 to 4000 minks a year and has a huge investment of several thousand dollars tied up in his mink business.
  2. Chiefly followed by from: to remove (the skin) from an animal.
  3. (obsolete, rare) To remove feathers from (a bird).
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The verb is derived from Late Middle English pelt, pelte; further origin uncertain, probably a variant of Late Middle English pilten (to push, thrust; to strike; to cast down, humble; to incite, induce; to place, put; to extend, reach forward with) [and other forms],[4][5] possibly from Old English *pyltan, from Late Latin *pultiare, from Latin pultāre (to beat, knock, strike), the frequentative of pellere,[6] the present active infinitive of pellō (to drive, impel, propel, push; to hurl; to banish, eject, expel, thrust out; to beat, strike; to set in motion), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (to beat; to drive, push).

The noun is derived from the verb.[7]

Verb[edit]

pelt (third-person singular simple present pelts, present participle pelting, simple past and past participle pelted)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To bombard (someone or something) with missiles.
      Synonyms: bethwack; see also Thesaurus:hit
      The children are pelting each other with snowballs.
      They pelted the attacking army with bullets.
    2. To force (someone or something) to move using blows or the throwing of missiles.
    3. Of a number of small objects (such as raindrops), or the sun's rays: to beat down or fall on (someone or something) in a shower.
    4. Chiefly followed by at: to (continuously) throw (missiles) at.
      Synonym: cockshy
      The children pelted apples at us.
    5. (archaic except Britain, dialectal) To repeatedly beat or hit (someone or something).
    6. (figuratively) To assail (someone) with harsh words in speech or writing; to abuse, to insult.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. Especially of hailstones, rain, or snow: to beat down or fall forcefully or heavily; to rain down.
      It’s pelting down out there!
    2. (figuratively) To move rapidly, especially in or on a conveyance.
      The boy pelted down the hill on his toboggan.
      • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave I. Marley’s Ghost.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, page 18:
        The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas-eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's-buff.
      • 1892 March, “Mother Talks—A Spring Walk”, in Cora L. Stockham, Andrea Hofer, editors, The Kindergarten Magazine [], volume IV, number VII, Chicago, Ill.: Kindergarten Publishing Company, →OCLC, page 471, column 2:
        Spring, is ye comen in, / Dappled larke singe, / Snow melteth, / Runnel pelteth, / Smelleth wind of newe buddinge.
      • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian[1], London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 11 July 2022:
        While we choose and buy our purchases with mere inch-wide movements of our thumbs, they are busy rearranging the physical world so that our deliveries pelt towards us in ever-quicker time.
    3. (archaic, also figuratively) Chiefly followed by at: to bombard someone or something with missiles continuously.
    4. (obsolete) To throw out harsh words; to show anger.
      • 1564 December 1 (Gregorian calendar), Iohn Rastell [i.e., John Rastell], “[Of Corpus Christi Daye and of the Seruice of that Holye Daye]”, in A Confutation of a Sermon, Pronoũced by M. Iuell, at Paules Crosse, the Second Sondaie before Easter (which Catholikes Doe Call Passion Sondaie) Anno Dñi .M.D.LX., Antwerp: [] Ægidius Diest, →OCLC, folio 84, verso:
        [S]he [the church] holdeth the veritie of his bodie [i.e., Jesus's body in the Eucharist]: ſhe pelteth not vvith God, denying this to be his body, bicauſe ſhe is cōmaunded to do this in remembrãce of hym: but ſhe doth beſt remembre hym, vvhen ſhe hath the bodie vvhich ſuffered, before her.
        “M. Iuell” is John Jewel.
      • 1594, William Shakespeare, Lucrece (First Quarto), London: [] Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, [], →OCLC, signature K2, verso:
        Another ſmotherd, ſeemes to pelt and ſvveare, / And in their rage ſuch ſignes of rage they beare, []
      • 1673, John Milton, Of True Religion, Heresie, Schism, Toleration, and What Best Means may be Us’d against the Growth of Popery. []; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, [], volume II, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, →OCLC, page 811:
        But if they vvho diſſent in matters not eſſential to Belief, vvhile the common Adverſary is in the Field, ſhall ſtand jarring and pelting at one another, they vvill ſoon be routed and ſubdued.
Conjugation[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

pelt (plural pelts)

  1. A beating or falling down of hailstones, rain, or snow in a shower.
    • 1927 May, Virginia Woolf, chapter 6, in To the Lighthouse (Uniform Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf), new edition, London: Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, [], published 1930, →OCLC, part I (The Window), page 54:
      [D]azed and blinded, she bent her head as if to let the pelt of jagged hail, the drench of dirty water, bespatter her unrebuked.
    • 2013 July 15, Karen-Anne Stewart, chapter 19, in Healing Rain (The Rain Trilogy; 2), Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 134:
      Kas is awakened by the furious pelts of rain hitting the tin roof, and he rolls over, pulling his sleeping wife tightly into his arms.
  2. (archaic except Ireland) A blow or stroke from something thrown.
  3. (figuratively)
    1. (archaic except Ireland) A verbal insult; a jeer, a jibe, a taunt.
    2. (archaic except Midlands, Southern England (South West)) A fit of anger; an outburst, a rage.
      • 1655, Thomas Fuller, “Section V. Thomæ Hanson, Amico Meo.”, in James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volume I, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC, book III, subsection 29, 30 (The Pope’s Fume against This Good Bishop Quenched by a Spanish Cardinal.), page 359:
        The pope [Innocent IV] being in this pelt, Ægidus, a Spanish cardinal, thus interposed his gravity: []
        The spelling has been modernized.
  4. (chiefly Northern England except in at (full) pelt) An act of moving quickly; a rush.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Uncertain; possibly related to pelting (mean, paltry) (obsolete), peltry (rubbish, trash; an unpleasant thing) (chiefly Scotland, obsolete), and paltry (of little value, trashy, trivial; contemptibly unimportant, despicable),[8] possibly from a Germanic language such as Middle Low German palte, palter (cloth; rag, shred),[9] from Old Saxon *paltro, *palto (cloth; rag), from Proto-Germanic *paltrô, *paltô (patch; rag, scrap). The ultimate origin is uncertain, but the word is possibly derived from Proto-Indo-European *polto- (cloth).

Noun[edit]

pelt (plural pelts) (archaic except Kent, Scotland)

  1. A tattered or worthless piece of clothing; a rag.
  2. (by extension) Anything in a ragged and worthless state; rubbish, trash.
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Uncertain; possibly related to palter (to talk insincerely; to prevaricate or equivocate in speech or actions; to haggle; to babble, chatter; (rare) to trifle), further etymology unknown.[10] The Oxford English Dictionary takes the view that any relation to pelting (mean, paltry) (obsolete) and paltry (of little value, trashy, trivial; contemptibly unimportant, despicable) is unlikely.[11]

Verb[edit]

pelt (third-person singular simple present pelts, present participle pelting, simple past and past participle pelted)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To bargain for a better deal; to haggle.

Etymology 5[edit]

A variant of pelta, borrowed from Latin pelta,[12] from Ancient Greek πέλτη (péltē, small crescent-shaped leather shield of Thracian design);[13] further etymology uncertain, perhaps either from Thracian, or ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (to cover; to wrap; hide; skin; cloth).

Noun[edit]

pelt (plural pelts)

  1. (obsolete, rare) Alternative form of pelta
    1. (historical) A small shield, especially one of an approximately elliptical form, or crescent-shaped.
    2. (botany) A flat apothecium with no rim.

References[edit]

  1. ^ pelt, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ pelt, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022; “pelt2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ pelt, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
  4. ^ pilten, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ pelt, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022; “pelt1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  6. ^ † pilt, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.
  7. ^ pelt, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022; “pelt1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  8. ^ pelt, n.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
  9. ^ paltry, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
  10. ^ palter, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “palter, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  11. ^ † pelt, v.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2019.
  12. ^ † pelt, n.4”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2020.
  13. ^ pelta, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

pelt

  1. inflection of pellen:
    1. second/third-person singular present indicative
    2. (archaic) plural imperative