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[sker-ee] /ˈskɛr i/
noun, plural skerries. Chiefly Scot.
a small, rocky island.
a coastline with a series of such islands offshore.
Origin of skerry
1605-15; Shetland dial. skerri a rock in the sea < Old Norse sker (genitive plural skerja) rock or reef (in the sea). See scar2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for skerry
Historical Examples
  • He was ahint the skerry when we were in the geo, and heard a'.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • With skill and caution Yaspard brought his boat alongside of the skerry.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • I do not know,' says Leif, 'whether it is a ship or a skerry that I see.'

  • Whatever was pinkish of it was now hidden by a skerry of weedy boulders.

  • So, they had considered it, and found that to tarry on the skerry longer was impossible.

    On the Seaboard August Strindberg
  • But you cannot do that and now you shall learn the reason and meaning of my stay on this skerry!

    On the Seaboard August Strindberg
  • And you would be an Ansgarius and introduce Christianity on the skerry?

    On the Seaboard August Strindberg
  • He turned and stood on another tack to sail round the skerry.

    On the Seaboard August Strindberg
  • North of us are two small islets and a small rock or skerry.

    Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen
  • I do not know,” says Leif, “whether it is a ship or a skerry that I see.

British Dictionary definitions for skerry


noun (mainly Scot) (pl) -ries
a small rocky island
a reef
Word Origin
C17: Orkney dialect, from Old Norse skerscar²
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 skerry

"isolated rock in the sea," 1610s, from Old Norse sker, related to skera "to cut off" (see shear (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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