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[uh-skyoo] /əˈskyu/
to one side; out of line; in a crooked position; awry:
to wear one's hat askew; to hang a picture askew.
with disapproval, scorn, contempt, etc.; disdainfully:
They looked askew at the painting.
crooked; awry:
Your clothes are all askew.
Origin of askew
First recorded in 1565-75; a-1 + skew
Related forms
askewness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for askew
Historical Examples
  • He pushed it askew; and then, since he did not need it now, discarded it altogether.

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

    The Book-Hunter

    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.

    Virginia of Elk Creek Valley

    Mary Ellen Chase
  • Captain askew could scarcely understand the account he heard.

    Washed Ashore W.H.G. Kingston
  • At length, most unwillingly, Captain askew told the men that he should return into the Tower.

    Washed Ashore W.H.G. Kingston
  • Little John eyed them askew, but made no offer to question them.

    Robin Hood Paul Creswick
  • But a man called askew, who knew Travers well, laughed and said: "Come, let's have it!"


    John Galsworthy
  • Then her hat got askew, and down came a long braid over his shoulder.

  • He is said to have imbibed his passion for collecting books from Dr. askew.

    Prices of Books Henry B. Wheatley
British Dictionary definitions for askew


adverb, adjective
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
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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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