skit·ter | \ˈski-tər \
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

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 The German shepherd next door has been pacing back and forth every night since, nails skittering across the floor. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Do Thundershirts Really Calm Dogs During Fireworks or What?," 3 July 2018 Marylanders first skittered into early voting in 2010 after legislation was passed in 2007 and 2009 to enable early voting and spell out guidelines. Leah Brennan, Howard County Times, "A smooth opening day at one Howard early-voting center," 14 June 2018 There was Alex Tuch during the second shift of Game 4, sending a no-look pass that skittered through traffic and met iron. Alex Prewitt,, "After Game 4 Win, the Capitals Are on the Cusp of Finishing Their Story in Stanley Cup Final," 5 June 2018 The album, out now, is the duo’s most inventive project yet, soaring between euphoric harmonies, ghostly Auto-Tune creations, and skittering drums in their signature sample-heavy style. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "DJDS on Their Kanye West Co-Sign, Working With Khalid, and Their Ambitious New Album," 29 May 2018 According to Cajun lore, when the Acadians (the origin of the term Cajun) were driven out of Canada by the British in 1759 and fled south to settle in the Louisiana delta, lobster skittered behind them, longing for their French cooks. William Boston, WSJ, "Berlin Puts Out a Contract on Invasive Crawfish," 8 May 2018 As dialogue in the show, about a high school female swim team, skitters from zombies to cunnilingus to college athletic programs to tampon mechanics, director Ariel Craft doesn’t always make the lightning shifts seem motivated. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young womanhood sopping wet with bodily fluids in Shotgun’s ‘Dry Land’," 31 May 2018 An ammo clip for the rifle skittered across the floor, a kid told me. Special To The Oregonian,, "Thurston 20 years later: 'I never want to cover another school shooting'," 20 May 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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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 \
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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