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 Students decked out in sparkly earrings, bright sneakers and backpacks full of fresh supplies skittered through the hallways to find their classrooms. Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach welcomes students back to school — a week earlier than usual," 27 Aug. 2019 However, with 10:51 remaining in the second quarter, the Oilers surrendered a safety off a high snap of their own that skittered out of bounds, making it an 8-2 game. Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach football can’t hold onto early lead, drops opener to Green Valley," 23 Aug. 2019 Rookie Luis Rengifo followed Pujols’ hit, which increased the veteran’s career RBI total against the Astros to 163, with a ball that skittered past a diving Jake Marisnick to the center-field warning track for an RBI triple and 6-0 lead. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: It all falls apart for the Dodgers," 17 July 2019 At the Seattle Public Library, a young woman accosts Bernadette, showering her with praise and gratitude for her influential work in architecture, and Bernadette skitters away awkwardly, barely saying a word in response. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and the False Dream That Art Will Fulfill You," 22 Aug. 2019 The track seamlessly fuses classic R&B vocals evocative of SWV and En Vogue and skittering breakbeat for a sound that's at once fully modern and a full-on '90s throwback. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "New Music Friday: The Week's Nine Best Dance Tracks From Sofi Tukker, Lykke Li With Skrillex & More," 12 July 2019 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

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

26 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for skitter

The first known use of skitter was in 1845

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More Definitions for skitter


How to pronounce skitter (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on skitter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skitter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skitter

Comments on skitter

What made you want to look up skitter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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