Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for skittering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So the eye, skittering across the water, leaps promptly and cleanly to blue ranges by the Sound, a couple of miles away.

    Plum Pudding Christopher Morley
  • skittering images of her zipped through his mind, only to be shoved aside.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • With a swish he is gone, and unless I hear the skittering of tiny feet a rod away I may not tell in what direction or how.

    Old Plymouth Trails Winthrop Packard
  • It was a tatterdemalion array that he had conjured into conclave with his skittering whoop along the hill-tops.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry Charles Neville Buck
  • The tiny life-raft dropped toward it, skittering nervously as it hit the thin atmosphere.

    The Legion of Lazarus Edmond Hamilton
  • It was a shame that Devore kept him skittering round on little picayunish jobs—running errands, that was really what it was.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • Up came a big flounder, which was skittering about, the next moment, in the bottom of the boat.

    The Rival Campers Afloat Ruel Perley Smith
  • Pop made his way toward it in the skittering, skating gait one uses in one-sixth gravity.

    Scrimshaw William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The shout sent Prince Machiavelli skittering up to Rick's neck and down inside his shirt.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for skittering


(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for skittering



"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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for skittering



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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for skitter

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for skittering

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for skittering