\ ˈskyü How to pronounce skew (audio) \
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

These arrests are hugely skewed by race: Black and white Americans use marijuana at similar rates, but black people were 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than white Americans for marijuana possession in 2010. German Lopez, Vox, "The case for marijuana legalization," 14 Nov. 2018 Non-competes are also more worrying when the balance of power between companies and employees is already skewed. The Economist, "The case against non-compete clauses," 17 May 2018 Princess Diana's gym-ready outfits skewed more casual yet still colorful. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski's Summer Style Muse Is Princess Diana," 17 Apr. 2019 Here, her natural curls skew more brown with just a sprinkling of blonde here. Kelsi Zimmerman, Allure, "21 Bronde Hair Ideas That Look Amazing on Everyone," 7 Oct. 2018 Vice’s audience still skews male, and a loyal chunk still lingers from the company’s more macho days. Reeves Wiedeman, Daily Intelligencer, "A Company Built on a Bluff," 10 June 2018 Obviously, however, this scene skewed to the far side of that experiential spectrum. Alex Wilson, Outside Online, "Kelly Slater's Wave Pool Is the Future. And It's Bleak.," 7 May 2018 Aside from the more festive shades, Sephora released nearly 20 new nudes, and while most of them skew lighter, there are a few deeper ones, like Cedar Wood (cool medium brown) and Honeymoon (a muted mauve). Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Sephora’s Liquid Lipstick Line Has Nearly 100 Shades Now," 13 Apr. 2018 Any biases in the algorithm can skew companies’ decision-making in costly ways. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "A Crucial Step for Averting AI Disasters," 13 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But if one person in your household tends to take on more than their fair share of the admin—and if that imbalance is causing tension or unhappiness—there are other ways to undo the skew. Elizabeth Emens, WSJ, "The Stickiness of ‘Life Admin’," 30 Dec. 2018 An influx of high-energy particles into the skewed field lines then releases the build-up of magnetic pressure, thereby righting the skew. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "When the Sun’s Magnetic Field Squashes the Earth’s Magnetic Field, Beautiful Things Happen," 14 Feb. 2019 An options measure called skew, which measures the cost of bearish options relative to bullish ones, on the S&P 500 remains historically low, according to Credit Suisse, indicating there isn’t a broad rush by investors to buy stock protection. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Fear Gauge Warns That This Selloff Is Different," 10 Dec. 2018 The market skew to China causes other problems, too. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Luxury-Goods Industry Has a China Problem," 1 Jan. 2019 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

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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Learn More about skew

Dictionary Entries near skew





skew aileron

skew arch


Statistics for skew

Last Updated

23 May 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skew

Nglish: Translation of skew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skew for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skew

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