ske·​dad·​dle ski-ˈda-dᵊl How to pronounce skedaddle (audio)
skedaddled; skedaddling ski-ˈdad-liŋ How to pronounce skedaddle (audio)
; skedaddles

intransitive verb

: to leave immediately : run away, scram
I've got to skedaddle or I'll be late.
Whenever there was work to be done, he skedaddled.
… of the five hundred and sixteen thousand immigrants who had come to Quebec since 1969 some three hundred and twelve thousand took a good look around and skedaddled.Mordecai Richler
… Vietnam, a country that has been virtually closed to foreigners since the last American helicopter skedaddled from the embassy rooftop in 1975.Stephen O'Shea
especially : to flee in a panic
Little gray lizards skedaddle from our path. Wells Tower
Though penguins can't outrun a lion, they can skedaddle on land if they really need to. Diane Ackerman
… they took their money and skedaddled as the housing market collapsed. Bill Saporito
ski-ˈdad-lər How to pronounce skedaddle (audio)
plural skedaddlers
… soldiers running from their units—and civilians running to avoid becoming part of one—were dubbed skedaddlers. John Boyko

Examples of skedaddle in a Sentence

I've got to skedaddle or I'll be late. we skedaddled as soon as we saw the snake entering our campsite
Recent Examples on the Web Nothing is worse than hearing them skedaddling across the kitchen floor at night. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, 22 Aug. 2023 As their old conference ticks its way toward a shriveled, uncertain future — schools skedaddling seemingly by the day — UCLA and USC have formally commenced the countdown toward a more assured fate. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 Meanwhile back at the ranch, Silva tells his son to skedaddle, but not before Jake shows up and tries to arrest him. Peter Debruge, Variety, 17 May 2023 The tree totters, ornaments go flying, and cats skedaddle in this sing-along picture book for children ages 3 and older and their families. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2022 Sedan drivers skedaddle like frightened children when this Ranger fills their mirrors. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 28 Aug. 2020 Arsenal have officially confirmed the capture of St Etienne centre back William Saliba, with the Frenchman putting pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Emirates before skedaddling straight back to the Ligue 1 side on loan for 2019/20., 25 July 2019 Somewhere in the midst of all this, the Rev. Ford had skedaddled, leaving Perot and Dawkins to face the music. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, 13 July 2019 At a news conference on Tuesday—three days before British Prime Minister Theresa May was set to skedaddle off the world stage forever—the president questioned whether anyone was less than thrilled at his presence. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 9 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skedaddle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably alteration of British dialect scaddle to run off in a fright, from scaddle, adjective, wild, timid, skittish, from Middle English scathel, skadylle harmful, fierce, wild, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skathi harm — more at scathe

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skedaddle was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near skedaddle

Cite this Entry

“Skedaddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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