\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

Although results can be skewed by bad weather, Are said this year’s count was conducted during mild, dry conditions. Kate Santich,, "New report shows homeless population declining," 16 May 2018 Aguilera said the average number could be skewed if a high-salaried teacher retired and was replaced by an entry-level teacher with a lower salary. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Ducey's '20 percent' promise persists, but the plan can't fund raises for all teachers," 5 May 2018 The statistic can be volatile, often skewed by seasonal quirks. Michael Hiltzik,, "Trump's dream of better than 3% economic growth recedes again," 27 Apr. 2018 But Caprio says it is skewed by higher-income households that have benefited from stronger wage growth and low mortgage rates. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Financial stress is rising for low- and middle-income U.S. households," 18 Apr. 2018 Mo Diame made a terrible error to allow Lacazette a clear run at goal, but the Frenchman's pass was skewed wide by the debutant Willock., "WATCH: Newcastle Beats Arsenal, Secures Fourth Consecutive League Victory," 15 Apr. 2018 The market for such applications is going to tend to skew toward consumer systems, leaving corporate machines underrepresented. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 April 2018 Update now open to all, thanks to machine learning," 14 June 2018 And reliable voters tend to skew much more Republican and much whiter than the population as a whole. NBC News, "California's GOP is collapsing. Is that a sign for Republicans nationwide?," 4 June 2018 Miller spoke last offseason about the importance of good class balance, saying programs whose scholarships skew heavily toward one or two classes can lose too much too fast, and wind up top-heavy with inexperience. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Why a graduate transfer makes sense for Archie Miller, IU basketball," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 In recent years, political scientists, lawyers, and mathematicians have sought to create mathematical tests that would allow a political map to be measured for partisan skew. Jonathan Lai,, "How the U.S. Supreme Court's partisan gerrymandering non-decisions affect Pa.," 18 June 2018 Smith, who at 39 skews young for a Crusher fan, doesn't want the icon to be forgotten. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: How 'bout dat, a statue of The Crusher in the wrestler's beloved South Milwaukee," 2 Feb. 2018 The Howard Hawks classic skews toward romantic comedy, with a newspaper editor (Cary Grant) using any and all means to keep his ex-wife and star reporter (Rosalind Russell) from remarrying. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "The 10 best journalism movies (including Steven Spielberg's 'The Post'), ranked," 11 Jan. 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

7 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on skew

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


playful or foolish behavior

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