Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

skittish

play
adjective skit·tish \ˈski-tish\

Simple Definition of skittish

  • of an animal : easily frightened or excited

  • : nervous or fearful about doing something

  • : tending to change often : not dependable or stable

Full Definition of skittish

  1. 1a :  lively or frisky in action :  capriciousb :  variable, fluctuating

  2. 2 :  easily frightened :  restive <a skittish horse>

  3. 3a :  coy, bashfulb :  marked by extreme caution :  wary <skittish investors>

skit·tish·ly adverb
skit·tish·ness noun

Examples of skittish

  1. We've been skittish about taking on such a large mortgage.

  2. <the skittish colt leapt up when we approached>



Origin of skittish

Middle English, from skit- (probably from Old Norse skyt-) + -ish


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with skittish



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up skittish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ