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  1. to one side; out of line; in a crooked position; awry: to wear one's hat askew; to hang a picture askew.
  2. with disapproval, scorn, contempt, etc.; disdainfully: They looked askew at the painting.
  1. crooked; awry: Your clothes are all askew.

Origin of askew

First recorded in 1565–75; a-1 + skew
Related formsa·skew·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for askew

Historical Examples

  • He pushed it askew; and then, since he did not need it now, discarded it altogether.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930


  • Osborne resold this inimitable windfall to Dr Askew for sixty guineas.

    The Book-Hunter</p>

    John Hill Burton

  • They hung all askew, helplessly pinned, some broadside, some upended.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • Its old logs, disjoined and askew, were all but on the ground.

  • Captain Askew could scarcely understand the account he heard.

    Washed Ashore

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for askew


adverb, adjective
  1. at an oblique angle; towards one side; awry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for askew


1570s, of uncertain etymology; perhaps literally "on skew" (see skew), or from the Old Norse form, a ska. Earlier askoye is attested in the same sense (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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