noun (1)
\ ˈskāt How to pronounce skate (audio) \
plural skates also skate

Definition of skate

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: any of a family (Rajidae, especially genus Raja) of rays with the pectoral fins greatly developed giving the fish a flat diamond shape


noun (2)

Definition of skate (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a metal frame that can be fitted to the sole of a shoe and to which is attached a runner or a set of wheels for gliding over ice or a surface other than ice
b : roller skate especially : in-line skate
c : ice skate
2 : a period of skating


skated; skating

Definition of skate (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to glide along on skates propelled by the alternate action of the legs
2 : to slip or glide as if on skates
3 : to proceed in a superficial or blithe manner

transitive verb

: to go along or through by skating


noun (3)

Definition of skate (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : a thin awkward-looking or decrepit horse : nag

Illustration of skate

Illustration of skate

Noun (1)

In the meaning defined above

Examples of skate in a Sentence

Verb hockey players skating into position Couples skated around the rink. She skated an excellent program in the competition. We skate at the park. The bugs skated along the surface of the water.

First Known Use of skate

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1684, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1696, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (3)

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for skate

Noun (1)

Middle English scate, from Old Norse skata

Noun (2)

modification of Dutch schaats, from Middle Dutch schaetse stilt, from Old French dialect (Flanders, Hainaut) *escace, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old English sceacan to shake — more at shake

Noun (3)

probably alteration of English dialect skite an offensive person

Learn More About skate

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The first known use of skate was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Skate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for skate


\ ˈskāt How to pronounce skate (audio) \
skated; skating

Kids Definition of skate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to glide along on skates
2 : to slide or glide along They watched long-legged water-bugs skate over the glassy-still pools.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie

Other Words from skate

skater noun



Kids Definition of skate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a metal blade fitting the sole of the shoe or a shoe with a permanently attached metal blade used for gliding on ice



Kids Definition of skate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a flat fish related to the sharks that has large and nearly triangular fins


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