skit·​tle | \ ˈski-tᵊl How to pronounce skittle (audio) \

Definition of skittle

1 skittles plural in form but singular in construction : English ninepins played with a wooden disk or ball
2 : one of the pins used in skittles

Examples of skittle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The roots of the term go back to a venerable European lawn game known as skittles. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2018 Games for adults include a barrel race, Wellington throw, skittles, three- legged race and more. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skittle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of skittle

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for skittle

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skutill harpoon, bolt, Danish skyttel shuttle — more at shuttle

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Time Traveler for skittle

Time Traveler

The first known use of skittle was in 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near skittle



skittle ball

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Cite this Entry

“Skittle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for skittle



English Language Learners Definition of skittle

: a British game played by rolling a wooden ball toward a set of objects in order to knock over as many objects as possible
: one of the objects that a player tries to knock over in a game of skittles


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