General English

  • verb to put something in a sloping position


Media Studies

  • verb to move a camera up or down vertically from a fixed point
  • verb to turn a camera smoothly and slowly on its axis in a vertical direction (from up to down, or vice versa).

Origin & History of “tilt”

Tilt originally meant ‘fall over’; the sense ‘slant’ is not recorded before the 16th century. The word is probably descended from an unrecorded Old English *tyltan, whose ultimate source would have been the prehistoric Germanic adjective *taltaz ‘unsteady’ (ancestor also of Swedish tulta ‘totter’). Tilt ‘joust’ (first recorded in the 16th century) has traditionally been regarded as the same word, based presumably on the notion of making one’s opponent ‘fall over’, but this is not certain.