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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 skittered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He skittered on all fours till he reached the middle of the path.

    The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole
  • I skittered off toward the door to the stage, because that was the easiest direction.

    No Great Magic Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • They skittered across the floor, one of them slipping through the heating-grating.


    Cory Doctorow
  • He skittered over the water, going down and coming up, until he had leaped seven times.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • She was shrieking, laughing as she skittered past him, clutching a gleaming gold helmet.

    Dream Town Henry Slesar
  • Bobby liked to watch the brisk puffs as they hit, spread in a fan-shaped ruffle of dark water and skittered away.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde Stewart Edward White
  • She dropped, senseless, and a small gun spilled out of the waist pocket of her zipsuit and skittered across the floor.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The mountain rumbled as it warmed unevenly, as the sheets of ice slid off its slopes and skittered down toward the highway.

  • Something flew out of his coat pocket and skittered across the floor.

    Instant of Decision Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for skittered


(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 skittered



"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 skittered



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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