verb (1)
\ ˈskīv How to pronounce skive (audio) \
skives; skived; skiving

Definition of skive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive + intransitive

British, informal
: to avoid work or school by staying away or by leaving without permission … 71 per cent said rewards for good ideas and punctuality would make them work harder and not skiveSouth Wales Evening Post Tam is 15 and he's skiving school.— Julie Mccaffrey often used with off I once worked in a hospital garden where my workmate skived off every day with "backache" and disappeared to work on his car at home.— Louis De Bernières


verb (2)
skived; skiving

Definition of skive (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cut off (a material, such as leather or rubber) in thin layers or pieces : pare

Examples of skive in a Sentence

Verb (2) He works for his mother and feels he can skive off whenever he feels like it. She skived off school twice last month.

First Known Use of skive

Verb (1)

1895, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

circa 1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skive

Verb (1)

probably borrowed from French esquiver "to dodge, sidestep, evade," in part borrowed from Spanish esquivar, derivative of esquivo "unsociable, shy" (earlier also "sinister, evil"), perhaps borrowed from Gothic *skiuh-, going back to Germanic *skeuh-a-; in part borrowed from Italian schivare "to avoid, shun," borrowed from Old French eschuir, eschiver — more at shy entry 1, eschew

Verb (2)

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skīfa to slice

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Time Traveler for skive

Time Traveler

The first known use of skive was circa 1825

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Cite this Entry

“Skive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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