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See also: Pelt



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Etymology 1Edit

Borrowed from Old French pelette, diminutive of pel (a skin), from Latin pellis. Alternatively a contraction of peltry (skins) from the same Old French and Latin roots.



pelt (plural pelts)

  1. The skin of a beast with the hair on; a raw or undressed hide; a skin preserved with the hairy or woolly covering on it.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175, page 030:
      They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he 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. [].
  2. The body of any quarry killed by a hawk.
  3. (humorous) Human skin.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Possible contraction of pellet


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

  1. (transitive) To bombard, as with missiles.
    They pelted the attacking army with bullets.
  2. (transitive) To throw; to use as a missile.
    The children pelted apples at us.
  3. (intransitive) To rain or hail heavily.
    It's pelting down out there!
  4. (intransitive) To throw out words.
    • Shakespeare
      Another smothered seems to pelt and swear.
  5. (transitive) To beat or hit, especially repeatedly.
  6. To move rapidly, especially in or on a conveyance.
    The boy pelted down the hill on his toboggan.


pelt (plural pelts)

  1. A blow or stroke from something thrown.
    • 2013, Karen-Anne Stewart, Healing Rain (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.


  • pelt” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.




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