A hilt is a knife, sword, or dagger's handle. When you're learning to sword fight for your role in a Shakespeare drama, the first thing you'll learn is to hold onto the hilt.

The hilt of a sword is sometimes topped by a "pommel," an enlarged section of the handle, and protected by a "guard," which keeps your hand safe from your opponent's blade. The word hilt can also mean "totally" in the colloquial phrase "up to the hilt," as in: "That country's military is armed up to the hilt," or "They own lots of homes, but they're mortgaged up to the hilt."

Definitions of hilt
  1. noun
    the handle of a sword or dagger
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    basket hilt
    a hilt with a basket-shaped guard for the hand
    type of:
    grip, handgrip, handle, hold
    the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
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