\ ˈskyü \
skewed; skewing; skews

Definition of skew

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to take an oblique course
2 : to look askance

transitive verb

1 : to make, set, or cut on the skew
2 : to distort especially from a true value or symmetrical form



Definition of skew (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : set, placed, or running obliquely : slanting
2 : more developed on one side or in one direction than another : not symmetrical



Definition of skew (Entry 3 of 3)

: a deviation from a straight line : slant

Examples of skew in a Sentence


They were accused of skewing the facts to fit their theory. He accused them of skewing the rules in their favor.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not surprisingly, the crowd for wine cruises skews older, particularly for itineraries in Old World wine regions like Bordeaux. Krisanne Fordham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Wine Cruises Might Be the Best Way to See Wine Country," 28 Nov. 2018 In suburban areas, where key House races were being decided, voters skewed significantly toward Democrats by a nearly 10-point margin. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "AP VoteCast: Trump a dominant force on voters’ minds," 7 Nov. 2018 Even if education is increasingly adjusted in different polls, however, there’s no guarantee another variable won’t emerge that also has the potential effect of skewing survey results. Li Zhou, Vox, "How pollsters are responding to problems that came up in 2016," 24 Oct. 2018 In short, skewing the election results to give Republicans more seats watered down his influence over the policy process. Barry C. Burden, Washington Post, "The Supreme Court decided not to decide Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case. But here’s why it will be back.," 19 June 2018 Rather than skewing entirely romantic, EmRata brought a bit of characteristic summer-ready vixen into the mix, a dusting of bronze between long lashes and power brow for added warmth. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski Shows Off Her Summer-Ready Skin in Los Angeles," 24 May 2018 Nike also knew that the campaign would further solidify it as a socially progressive company, which is important for many of its younger consumers, who skew liberal and represent the company’s future customers. Sarah Banet-weiser, Vox, "Nike’s Kaepernick ad continues — and tweaks — the tradition of brands commodifying politics.," 7 Sep. 2018 Eaux Claires fans skew younger, not nearly as diverse, and probably a little richer than the typical Summerfest attendee. Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires vs. Summerfest: 1 weekend, 2 very different festivals," 6 July 2018 Coutinho had a chance to add to his earlier goal with twenty minutes left on the clock, but his half-volley skewed disappointingly wide., "Brazil 1-1 Switzerland: Stubborn Swiss Refuse to Back Down as Brazil Disappoint in Rostov," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As Cohn wrote, a 70-30 skew is still a big loss for Democrats. German Lopez, Vox, "North Dakota’s new voting restrictions seem aimed at Native Americans who vote Democrat," 31 Oct. 2018 Both AncestryDNA and 23andMe skew toward people of European descent. Dieter Holger, PCWorld, "DNA testing for ancestry is more detailed for white people. Here’s why, and how it's changing," 4 Dec. 2018 Good news might help the pound a lot, as FX strategist Kit Juckes at Société Générale points out, because there’s already such a skew against it in options. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Brexit Britain’s Broken Politics Leave Investors Few Bargains," 18 Oct. 2018 Yet even with that as a given, most workers tend to have their highest earnings late in their careers, so missing out on those years due to an earlier disability skews earnings enough to result in lower benefits. Dan Caplinger, USA TODAY, "What does average American get from Social Security? Depends on the benefit," 29 May 2018 Belgium matched the natural skew in the French side, Jan Vertonghen staying deep at left back to combat the extreme pace of Kylian Mbappe, while Chadli, up against the much more defensive Blaise Matuidi, was able to get forward. Jonathan Wilson,, "Trophy Window Suddenly Shrinks for Belgium's Golden Generation," 10 July 2018 In the options market, a measure known as skew tracks the cost of bearish options versus bullish ones. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Investors Seek Protection From Market’s Biggest Winners," 2 July 2018 This skew reaffirms the trend captured by a Pew survey earlier this month, which found that women, especially young women, were overwhelmingly likely to go blue this fall. Li Zhou, Vox, "The midterm elections are shaping up to have a giant gender gap," 2 July 2018 Primus and Mastodon are both bands that come from the world of heavy metal but resist categorization: The former blends it with prog rock and funk; the latter skews toward thrash and hard core. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of skew


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skew


Middle English, to escape, run obliquely, from Anglo-French *eskiuer, eschiver to escape, avoid — more at eschew

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Dictionary Entries near skew





skew aileron

skew arch


Statistics for skew

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for skew

The first known use of skew was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for skew



English Language Learners Definition of skew

: to change (something) so that it is not true or accurate

: to make (something) favor a particular group of people in a way that is unfair

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More from Merriam-Webster on skew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skew

Nglish: Translation of skew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skew for Arabic Speakers

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