1. the handle of a sword or dagger.
  2. the handle of any weapon or tool.

verb (used with object)

  1. to furnish with a hilt.
  1. to the hilt, to the maximum extent or degree; completely; fully: to play the role to the hilt.Also up to the hilt.


  1. the handle or shaft of a sword, dagger, etc
  2. to the hilt to the full


  1. (tr) to supply with a hilt

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.

see to the hilt.

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