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[skip-jak] /ˈskɪpˌdʒæk/
noun, plural (especially collectively) skipjack (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) skipjacks for 1; skipjacks for 2, 3.
any of various fishes that leap above the surface of the water, as a tuna, Euthynnus pelamis, or the bonito.
Entomology. click beetle.
Nautical. an American one-masted sailing vessel.
Origin of skipjack
First recorded in 1545-55; skip1 + jack1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skipjack
Historical Examples
  • In the big barn doorway the skipjack and Willie Ramsey appeared.

    Back o' the Moon Oliver Onions
  • Congratulate the skipjack, with just a hint that he might have looked higher.

    Puppets at Large F. Anstey
  • "And comes for it like the cattle to the scrubbing-stones," said the skipjack.

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "Yet the skipjack seemed the most improbable one of all," said his mother.

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "If I thought it was the skipjack element," she said, smiling.

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Fishing in heavy water, a skipjack snaps at your fly, and you jerk him out to bank with a Devil take you.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • The skipjack found quite stiff and colourless this morning, in the water-jug!

    Puppets at Large F. Anstey
  • They were chopping in several places at once now, and from the top of another tree the skipjack gave another shout.

    Back o' the Moon Oliver Onions
  • Names won't sometimes, and there's a formality in Lucas that would never fit that skipjack of a boy.

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The skipjack proved speedy and they made the run back to the hotel in good time, arriving there before sundown.

    The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton
British Dictionary definitions for skipjack


noun (pl) -jack, -jacks
Also called skipjack tuna. an important food fish, Katsuwonus pelamis, that has a striped abdomen and occurs in all tropical seas: family Scombridae (mackerels and tunas)
black skipjack, a small spotted tuna, Euthynnus yaito, of Indo-Pacific seas
any of several other unrelated fishes, such as the alewife and bonito
(nautical) an American sloop used for oystering and as a yacht
another name for a click beetle
Word Origin
C18: from skip1 + jack1
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 skipjack

1550s, "a pert shallow-brained fellow; a puppy, a whipper-snapper; a conceited fop or dandy" [OED], from skip (v.) + generic name jack (n.). Applied 1703 to tropical fishes with leaping tendencies. In reference to a kind of sailing boat used on Chesapeake Bay, attested from 1887.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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