\ ˈskif How to pronounce skiff (audio) \

Definition of skiff

: any of various small boats especially : a flat-bottomed rowboat

Examples of skiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Noah, 7, likes to drive the four-wheeler and, in the skiff, help untangle salmon from the net. Miranda Weiss, The Atlantic, 6 Oct. 2021 Blink pulled the skiff up along a patch of earth that had surfaced recently, formed by sediment that would formerly have been swept out to sea. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2021 Two troopers patrolling the area in a skiff immediately responded and pulled one person aboard. Anchorage Daily News, 2 July 2021 The small aluminum skiff was found around 3 p.m. Sunday along the Nushagak River in New Stuyahok with Rachel Alexandra Hanson dead inside, troopers wrote in an online statement. Anchorage Daily News, 10 June 2021 Fish and Wildlife’s primary Aleutian research vessel, the R/V Tiglax, had dropped Buchheit and Ford off that May with four months’ worth of supplies and a Zodiac skiff. Jennifer Leman, The Atlantic, 5 July 2021 The sea churned as Buchheit and Ford steered their skiff out to Giddings’s boat. Jennifer Leman, The Atlantic, 5 July 2021 Troopers did not say whether the crew member who died was pulled aboard their skiff or fishing vessels that aided in the rescue. Anchorage Daily News, 2 July 2021 One bright, brisk morning last month, Colleen Francke steered her skiff a mile off the coast of Falmouth and cut the gas., 26 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skiff.' 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 skiff

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skiff

Middle English skif, from Middle French or Old Italian; Middle French esquif, from Old Italian schifo, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English scip ship

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Time Traveler for skiff

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

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skiff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for skiff



English Language Learners Definition of skiff

: a small, light boat that is usually for only one person


\ ˈskif How to pronounce skiff (audio) \

Kids Definition of skiff

: a small light rowboat

More from Merriam-Webster on skiff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skiff

Nglish: Translation of skiff for Spanish Speakers


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