skit·​ter ˈski-tər How to pronounce skitter (audio)
skittered; skittering; skitters

intransitive verb

: to glide or skip lightly or quickly
: to move in or as in a jittery or jerky way
leaves skittering over the sidewalk
: to twitch the hook of a fishing line through or along the surface of water

transitive verb

: to cause to skitter

Examples of skitter in a Sentence

Dry leaves skittered over the sidewalk. Mice skittered across the floor.
Recent Examples on the Web The own-goals will continue to skitter into the net as the media conglomerates scramble to bring their streaming losses under control. Anthony Crupi,, 21 June 2024 The past year has been tough for the Bay Area, as thousands of layoffs skittered across the region. Ryan MacAsero, The Mercury News, 11 June 2024 In Scavengers Reign, as Sam lies dying, the bug that skitters on him and then puffs into a sphere that floats away is likewise a bittersweet nod at renewal, one life continuing as another ends. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 31 May 2024 The 15 live roaches skittering about the kitchen were on the floor next to cases of oil (six), on a wall next to a wok (three), on a flip top cooler (three), and under the handwash sink that didn’t have soap (three). David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for skitter 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skitter.' 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 frequentative of English dialect (Scots and northern) skite to move quickly, probably from Old Norse skyt-, stem of skjōta to shoot

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of skitter was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near skitter

Cite this Entry

“Skitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


skit·​ter ˈskit-ər How to pronounce skitter (audio)
: to glide or skip lightly or quickly : skim along a surface

More from Merriam-Webster on skitter

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