halt (n.)

"a stop, a halting," 1590s, from French halte (16c.) or Italian alto, ultimately from German Halt, imperative from Old High German halten "to hold" (see hold (v.)). A German military command borrowed into the Romanic languages 16c.

halt (adj.)

"lame," in Old English lemphalt "limping," from Proto-Germanic *haltaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian halt, Old Norse haltr, Old High German halz, Gothic halts "lame"), from PIE *keld-, from root *kel- (1) "to strike, cut," with derivatives meaning "something broken or cut off" (source also of Russian koldyka "lame," Greek kolobos "broken, curtailed"). The noun meaning "one who limps; the lame collectively" is from c. 1200.

halt (v.1)

"make a halt," 1650s, from halt (n.). As a command word, attested from 1796. Related: Halted; halting.

halt (v.2)

"to walk unsteadily, move with a limping gait," early 14c., from Old English haltian (Anglian), healtian (West Saxon), "to limp, be lame; to hesitate," from Proto-Germanic *halton (source also of Old Saxon halton, Middle Dutch halten, Old High German halzen), derivative verb from the source of halt (adj.). Figurative use from early 15c. Related: Halted; halting.

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