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

Definition of skitter

intransitive verb

1a : to glide or skip lightly or quickly
b : to move in or as in a jittery or jerky way leaves skittering over the sidewalk
2 : 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

Life is played on a grid, like tic-tac-toe, where its proliferating cells resemble skittering microorganisms viewed under a microscope. Quanta Magazine, "A Life in Games," 28 Aug. 2015 That’s where the piano part explodes in violent chords, and the vocal line skitters between dynamic extremes. John Von Rhein,, "With new song cycle, Lawrence Brownlee explores a black man's life in America," 20 Feb. 2018 Behind the stately front door of a classic Upper East Side townhouse, a little black spaniel named Winnie skitters across terrazzo floors. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "This Upper East Side Townhouse Is Brimming With Bespoke Furniture and French Antiques," 25 Jan. 2019 Before his Balenciaga gig, Sen’s clips included SIM-like bodies skittering in a box much like ping-pong balls would or limbs propelling Suspiria-style, bouncing on a wavy brick sidewalk. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "What Is Going On With Balenciaga’s Possessed Instagram Clip?," 15 Nov. 2018 Animals live their lives, skittering about in search of food. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "No Man’s Sky travel diary: the final entry," 29 Aug. 2018 But soon after, the bison turned around and ran toward Reinke, who skittered away. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Yellowstone bison taunter reportedly sentenced to jail," 23 Aug. 2018 Speaking of film, Ratatouille fans will delight at John Derian's whimsical cheeseboards skittering with tiny mice. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Can Halloween Home Decor Be Chic? These Items Make the Case," 26 Oct. 2018 Late in the second quarter, the animosity that had been percolating between the two teams nearly bubbled over when Robert Covington sent Goran Dragic skittering face first across the court with a body after he’d been fouled on a fastbreak. David Murphy,, "How special can these Sixers be? Just listen to Dwyane Wade | David Murphy," 21 Apr. 2018

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

1845, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for skitter

probably frequentative of English dialect (Scots and northern) skite to move quickly, probably from Old Norse skyt-, stem of skjōta to shoot

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Statistics for skitter

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skitter

The first known use of skitter was in 1845

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English Language Learners Definition of skitter

: to move quickly and lightly along a surface


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

Kids Definition of skitter

: to glide or skip lightly or quickly … Chipmunks skittered along the stone walls …— Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skitter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skitter

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