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[skit-er] /ˈskɪt ər/
verb (used without object)
to go, run, or glide lightly or rapidly.
to skim along a surface.
Angling. to draw a lure or a baited hook over the water with a skipping motion.
verb (used with object)
to cause to skitter.
Origin of skitter
1835-45; skit, variant of skite1 + -er6 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skitter
Historical Examples
  • skitter and spit dust—use it all, but keep us clear for three minutes!

    The Butterfly Kiss Arthur Dekker Savage
  • I saw Daniel the Mystic scramble to his feet and skitter about.

    Back Home Irvin S. Cobb
  • He came up at once, and with two-thirds of his body out of the water he began to skitter toward us.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Moving another notch down caused the picture to skitter back and forth on the screen.

    The Time Traders Andre Norton
  • He divided with me, told me to fasten one upon the end of my line and skitter it over the water.

British Dictionary definitions for skitter


(intransitive) often foll by off. to move or run rapidly or lightly; scamper
to skim or cause to skim lightly and rapidly, as across the surface of water
(intransitive) (angling) to draw a bait lightly over the surface of water
Word Origin
C19: probably from dialect skite to dash about; related to Old Norse skjōta to shoot
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 skitter

"to run rapidly," 1845, frequentative of skite "to dart, run quickly" (1721), perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse skjota "to shoot, launch, move quickly, avoid (a blow)," or Norwegian dialectal skutla "glide rapidly"); see skittish. As a noun from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for skitter



To move about rapidly; scamper: where the poor skitter around the doll's house on the hill like so many rats among garbage (1845+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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